Mr Pondei, who appeared with other management staff of the commission, accused the chairman of the house committee on NDDC, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, of corruption. He said because of that, his team will not speak before the committee.
“We are not comfortable with the chairman of this committee presiding over a matter he has been accused of.”
He asked the committee chairman to recuse himself from the investigation.
“There is no point of order here. As long as he is the chairman of this committee, the NDDC will not make any presentation here,” he said.
When lawmakers intervened and told the NDDC team that nobody could decide its modus operandi, the NDDC management staged a walk out.
The house is conducting an investigative hearing on the alleged financial malfeasance and other activities in the NDDC. In May, a group accused Mr Tunji-Ojo of having benefited from award of contracts in the commission. The lawmaker described the allegations as shameful and baseless.
In a statement, the lawmaker described a newspaper publication attributed to some “inconsequential groups” claiming he was awarded a 17 km road contract as a ‘smear campaign.’ Mr. Tunji-Ojo represents Akoko North East/ West Federal Constituency of Ondo state.
The ex-managing director of the NDDC, Joy Nunieh, had earlier raised the alarm that her home in Port Harcourt had been surrounded by armed police officers and therefore she would not be able to travel to Abuja to appear before the lawmakers.
Ms Nunieh had accused the Minister of Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio, of corruption in the management of the NDDC, an allegation the minister has denied.
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