NDDC N40bn scandal More revelations made against IMC

 

More allegations have been made against the embattled Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The Senate had set up a seven-man adhoc committee to investigate IMC financial transactions, which amounted to N40billion.

In a statement on Sunday by Richard Arinze, on behalf of a group of concerned staff, IMC was accused of continued desecration of the administrative guidelines for government-owned institutions as provided for in the civil service appointment, promotion and discipline rules.

It said while the compulsory leave and retirement handed some staff some weeks back caused a lot of furore, the IMC was still promoting staff without interview or tests.

“It is interesting that the IMC has tried to spin the story of the sack of the senior staff from those who held top offices and could compromise the audit to those who have been indicted by the EFCC.

“The questions to ask are: At what point were these staffers indicted by the EFCC? When did the EFCC investigate the said staff or the NDDC during which they were indicted? How did the so-called forensic audit firm get to be the one advising the IMC that staff of the agency have been indicted? The minister and his IMC are pathological liars who bend the truth at every opportunity to perfect their selfish agenda at the NDDC.

“Some senior staff who were asked to go have just a few years left in service. Public Service Rule (PSR) No 020810 provides for the retirement of a civil servant who has attained the age of 60 years or 35 years in service but the IMC directed civil servants who have two more years or less to stay in service to proceed on compulsory retirement.

“The IMC first gave the impression that it only asked the affected staff to go on paid-leave for the duration of the so-called forensic-audit. And then a fresh reason surfaced: some of those asked to go have been indicted by the EFCC! Does Pondei know the meaning of Indictment?

“How can someone indicted for so long, a civil servant, still be in office? Even if that were so, under Rule 030301 of Section 3 of PSR which deals with misconduct, an officer must be informed in writing of the specific act of wrong doing or the improper behaviour inimical to the image of the organization charged against him which must be investigated.

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“Yet the latest is the arbitrary promotion of staff at the NDDC, with letters distributed to staff between April and early May 2020, without formal tests or interviews as have been the practice.

“While the Civil Service Rules/Guidelines which guide Ministries Departments and Agencies in the public sector provides that staff on Grade Levels 8 – 14 must spend three years on a position before promotion and those on Levels 15 – 17 four years, this rule has been thrashed by the interim management who even gave their favoured staff who have not spent the prescribed number of years double promotion, all without interview or assessment test.

“What the minister has established at the NDDC using his rubberstamp IMC are two classes of staff – those who are favoured by Akpabio because they have been recruited for his personal agenda and the rest of us who dutifully follow our jobs without eye service.

“What we have experienced is that the NDDC today is run by a four man clique,” he said.

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