Over the weekend, traditional rulers and politicians from 9 States of the South-South region sent a protest letter to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) over an alleged plot by some politicians from the region to illegally deduct and divert the sum of N1 billion from the funds accrued to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)  for the December 5th election in Bayelsa State.

Timipre Sylva

Under the aegis of the Voice of South-South, the concerned elders and politicians alleged that some members of the All Progressive Congress (APC) mounted pressure on the senior management of the NDDC to illegally divert the alleged N1 billion to the governorship campaign of Timipre Sylva.

The Chairman of the Voice of South-South, Alex Dumbo announced in a letter that the group’s preliminary investigation revealed that the APC leadership decided to pressure the NDDC into releasing the funds after their failed attempt to secure N200 million from each of the APC-controlled States.  

“Though we [Voice of South-South] are not against members of the APC raising money for the election of their own, the forceful illegal deductions 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 APC state Governors could decline to contribute the sum of N200 million each due to the paucity of funds to States, why should the NDDC be forced to part with N1 billion budgeted for development?”

The group warned that the channels and processes by which the alleged monies would be deducted are being monitored closely.

"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 purported Anti-corruption drive of President Muhammadu Buhari, such cases of fund diversion and illegal funding of elections of a particular candidate with state or Government money should be investigated and those behind it prosecuted."

The Voice of South-South also questioned the motives behind President Buhari’s campaign against corruption.  

“The declaration of President Buhari is viewed from the premise that the ongoing attempt by the present administration to implement its anti-corruption agenda has been turned into a political witch-hunt targeted at perceived opposition party members as well as those sympathetic to their course.

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