Elders urge EFCC to probe alleged plot to divert NDDC fund for Bayelsa poll
A GROUP of elders has implored the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to commence an investigation into an alleged plot by some politicians in Bayelsa State to divert N1 billion of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) funds for a campaign.
The elders, comprising monarchs and politicians, under the aegis of ‘Voice of South-South (VSS),’ in a petition to the anti-graft agency, alleged that the said sum was for the prosecution of the December 5 poll in the state.
They accused some politicians of using the platform of a prominent political party to mount pressure on some senior management staff of the NDDC to illegally release the alleged sum for the gubernatorial ambition of the party’s flag bearer.
The VSS, in the letter signed by its state chairman, Alex Dumbo, said preliminary investigation conducted by the group showed that the decision to arm-twist the interventionist agency into making the illegal deduction was taken after a supposed failed attempt by the candidate to secure an alleged N200 million from each state controlled by his party.
The letter read: “Though we are not against members of the party raising money for the election of their own, the forceful attempt to illegally deduct from funds provided for agencies and parastatals for development of the people of a particular region or state is criminal and should be investigated.
“If the party’s state governors could decline to contribute the sum of N200 million each due to paucity of funds to states, why should the NDDC be forced to part with N1 billion budgeted for development?’’ the group queried.
VSS warned that its members were closely monitoring the channels and processes by which the alleged deduction was being planned with ‘concrete’ evidence.
The group added: “By this letter, we are calling on the EFCC to investigate the plot by summoning the management staff of the NDDC for questioning. We believe that in line with the anti-corruption drive of President Muhammad Buhari, such cases of fund diversion and illegal funding of election of a particular candidate with state or government money should be investigated and those behind it prosecuted.”