It was gathered that the Ijaw Youth Council has said the Senate Committee on Public Account has no business summoning the Acting Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, because it has no supervisory powers to do so.
The IYC, Eastern Zone, which came in defence of Semenitari on some issues, including the alleged awarding of huge contracts between 2014 and 2016 without documented evidence, said the power to supervise the NDDC was with the Senate Committee on Niger Delta.
It will be recalled that the Senate Committee on Public Account chaired by Senator Andy Uba, had requested that the NDDC must provide evidence of approval for 1,691 contracts, which were awarded between 2014 and 2016.
But the IYC Chairman, Eastern Zone, Iyerifama Jaja, said in a statement issued in Port Harcourt on Wednesday that the acting MD’s immediate predecessor, Bassey Dan-Abia, who awarded the contracts should be summoned to account for his stewardship if the contracts must be revisited.
On the issue of the N28.7 billion tax owed the Federal Inland Revenue Service as, the group maintained that Semenitari should not be liable for the alleged inactions of her predecessor who served under a different party manifesto.
“Semenitari has maintained the Treasury Single Account since assuming office in December 2015. NDDC could have operated 22 separate accounts.
“But certainly not under her watch as the records are there for the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to verify,” the statement read.
IYC, Eastern Zone, however, linked the NDDC’s acting MD’s travails to the activities of petition writers from the region, especially from her own Ijaw ethnic group.
According to the group, “We take cognizance of the fact that the Ijaw trying to unseat her are all members of the All Progressives Congress. In this respect, we again, thank the Peoples Democratic Party for their maturity.
“We thank President (Muhammadu) Buhari for keeping faith with the ethnic minorities of the Niger Delta. We declare his sincerity in the development of the region.”