By Emma Amaize
Peter Clever Okoro Esq., Director, Legal Services, Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, in a letter dated July 5 addressed to Senator Peter Nwaoboshi asked him to refund N2.552 billion within two weeks
In the July 5, letter to the Delta North senatorial district representative in the Nigerian Senate, Okoro said: “That sometime in 2017, the Commission awarded contracts to certain companies for the production of desks and chairs for primary and secondary schools in the Niger Delta region under the 2016 budget of the commission. The list of the companies is attached as Annexure ‘A’.
“The total value of the said contracts was N2.552.305, 600.OO (Two billion, five hundred and fifty-two million, three hundred and five thousand and six hundred Naira).”
“That the contracts were in furtherance of the commission’s education sector mandate as catalyst for the improvement of classroom and learning conditions in the Niger Delta region.
“That instead of supplying the chairs and desks to the Commission’s warehouse in Port Harcourt, or to any of the NDDC offices in the nine Niger Delta states, the items were supplied to a warehouse described as Akuede Akwis’ located at Benin Expressway, Okpanam, before Wichetech Aluminum Company.
“That the 2019 budget of the commission also contains the following heads: a.) Provisions and supply of plastic chairs and desks for primary and secondary schools in Delta North Senatorial District (Lots 1-15) for (Serial No. 21); b.) NDDC—Provisions and supply of plastic chairs and desks for primary and secondary schools in Delta North Senatorial District (Lots 1-20) for (Serial No. 33); Production and distribution of desks and benches in selected schools in the Niger Delta Region for (Serial No. 396).
“That despite having fully paid for the 2017 contracts for the production of chairs and desks, the items have not been supplied to the commission. The result is that the commission and the Niger Delta region have been deprived of the use of the desks and chairs.
“That I have been further directed to demand that you refund N2,552,305,600.000 (Two billion, five hundred and fifty two million, three hundred and five thousand and six hundred Naira) to the commission being the contract sums paid in respect of the said contracts within 14 days of this letter,” he said.
Contractor has no link with Nwaoboshi — SPON
Senator Peter Nwaoboshi Media Team, SPON,in a quick response, yesterday morning, said: “Our attention has been drawn to the purported subject matter above, credited to one Peter Claver Okoro, Esq, posing as the Director, Legal Services of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), and we make bold to state the following:
“That the purported matter is subjudice as it is already before two law courts of competent jurisdiction in Nigeria, wherein distinguished Senator Peter Nwaoboshi sued the NDDC, Mr Charles Odili and relevant newspapers for defamation of character.
“The purported letter addressed to the distinguished Senator Peter Nwaoboshi was written on July 5, 2020, and as at today, August 7, 2020, the said letter has not reached Senator Peter Nwaoboshi—either in person or office or by substitution.
“The purported letter, unlike any formal letter emanating from a recognized government Ministry, Agency or Department is not signed, therefore, can easily be denied.
“Nowhere in the contents of the purported letter was it stated that the contractor is directly linked to distinguished Senator Peter Nwaoboshi.
“Nowhere in the purported letter was it stated that the warehouse, where the plastic chairs were domiciled belongs to distinguished Senator Peter Nwaoboshi.
“The purported letter is absolutely fake as it was not conveyed through the official letter-headed paper of the NDDC—apparently for fear of being sued for divulgence of fake information to the general public.
“We are also not ruling out media urchins, who may have been recruited by the desperate members of the IMC of NDDC in an attempt to divert public attention from the humongous corruption charges hanging on their necks.
“Finally, we have always maintained that the IMC of NDDC are bunch of confused men without vision or direction. Initially, the alleged figure was pegged at N3.7 billion only for the confused IMC team to now come up with a totally different figure of N2.5 billion. Nigerians and the entire world could see the charades clearly. Even through the eyes of Steve Wonder!
“However, if the IMC of NDDC feel they truly have a genuine case against Senator Peter Nwaoboshi as contained in the purported letter, we are challenging them to go to the law court or make use of every legal procedure available to them,” SPON stated.
Findings by Saturday Vanguard, however, showed that there was incongruity in the signature of NDDC legal adviser, Peter Okoro Esq. in the two separate letters to Dr. Nunieh and Senator Nwaoboshi.
Okoro in the letter addressed to Nwaoboshi did not also directly mention that the contracts were awarded to him.
Senator Nwaoboshi, who spoke to Saturday Vanguard, challenged NDDC to go to court if it awarded any contract to him and they were not executed, saying: “All what you are seeing are diversionary tactics by the Commission.”