• April 14, 2021

News Recap: Akpabio’s Bombshell, Pondei’s Theatrics, Oshiomhole’s Rants & More

By Jude Obuseh

If you keenly followed the news during the week, you would have come across several accounts of the drama that played out in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, where the Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei, fainted while being grilled by the House of Representatives Committee on NDDC on Monday.

Did you also come across the bombshell released by Senator Godsdwill Akpabio, the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, during a public hearing at the House of Representatives, that most NDDC contracts were awarded to lawmakers? If you did, are you also aware that the People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) during the week called for the resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari?

Today’s news recap takes you through some of the top stories that made headlines during the week. For your information, News Recap is a collection of the top stories posted on agendawatchdog.com during the week. Happy ride!

-.Nigeria’s former ruling and incumbent opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, during the week, demanded the immediate resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari, over his supposed inability to stem the rising cases of insecurity and corruption in the country.  Mr Uche Secondus, the National Chairman of the PDP, expressed the party’s angst at Buhari’s government during a press briefing titled “titled Nigeria on a free fall as corruption, insecurity engulfs our nation” in Abuja on Friday, in which the party noted that the escalating state of insecurity in the country and rising corruption allegations against some serving members of the president’s administration were pointers to the fact that  he had failed Nigerians and should therefore throw in the towel.

-.Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei, appeared to faint as the House of Representatives committee on NDDC grilled him on Monday. The committee was in its fourth day of public hearing as it investigated alleged financial misappropriation at the agency. Pondei had been grilled for over an hour when he slowly slumped over his desk, appearing too faint.

-.According to a report by the Senate ad hoc committee investigating financial recklessness in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) released on Thursday, N1.3 trillion was spent by the commission within four years. This revelation in the Senate committee’s investigative report came days after the acting NDDC Managing Director, Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei, fainted during a grilling session.

-.More shocking revelations emerged from the ongoing public hearing on allegations of corruption in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), as the Minister of Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio, on Monday, revealed that most contracts from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) were awarded to National Assembly members. Akpabio made the disclosure while being cross-examined by the members of the House of Representatives Committee on NDDC at a public hearing, following his invitation to defend allegations of corruption and sexual harassment leveled against him by Joy Nunieh, a former Managing Director of the NDDC.

-.Tolulope Arotile, Nigeria’s first female helicopter combat pilot, was laid to rest at the National Military Cemetery in Abuja during the weekend. Arotile, who died on July 14 in Kaduna, from injuries sustained from a road traffic accident at the NAF base, Kaduna, was buried in strict compliance with COVID-19 guidelines, according to Nigerian Air Force spokesman, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola.

-.Following the expiration of the 48-hour ultimatum given  to the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, to name the members of the legislature who he claimed had benefited from NDDC contracts, the House of Representatives resolved to drag the minister to court. The lower legislative house had, following Akpabio’s allegations during a public hearing on Tuesday, that most contracts issued by the NDDC were mostly to lawmakers, issued an ultimatum to him to publish the names of those lawmakers,

-.Five persons, believed to be aid workers, were murdered by elements suspected to be Boko Haram insurgents in Nigeria’s North-East during the week. The gruesome killing of the aid workers, which was captured in a viral online video, showed five men forced to kneel before some masked men dressed in military fatigues, with a voice in the background reading out their offence in Hausa, before giving the execution order.

-.The Ondo State People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Governorship Primary held during the week produced a flag bearer in the person of Eyitayo Jegede,  who will bear the party’s banner in the forthcoming Ondo State Governorship poll scheduled to hold on October 10, 2020. Jegede won the election by polling 888 votes to defeat his closest rival and incumbent Deputy Governor of the state, Agboola Ajayi who garnered 657 votes, and other contestants such as Eddy Olafeso who polled 175 votes, Banji Okunomo who polled 90 votes, Olabode Ayorinde who polled 95 votes and Boluwaji Kunlere who polled 33 votes, Olusola Ebiseeni and Godday Erewa polled 29 and 14 votes respectively.

-.A researcher at the Lagos Business School has won a $234,000 grant from the Templeton World Charity Foundation, Inc. A statement on the website of the school said Dr Eugene Ohu, won the grant to conduct a two-year virtual reality research titled Teaching Children Empathy and Compassion through Virtual Reality Games.

-.Before slumping during cross-examination on Monday at the resumed hearing of probes into the operations of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) by the House of Representatives,  Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei, the acting Managing Director of the commission  had disclosed that the commission only spent N1.32billion, and not N1.5 billion on COVID-19 palliatives as earlier stated. Pondei’s latest submission was a recant of the one he made at a previous hearing where he told the lawmakers that the commission spent only N1.5 billion as palliatives for taking care of NDDC staff, for, according to him, he misunderstood the question that was put to him during the previous session, adding that the N1.5billion “take care of ourselves” clause which he stated about two weeks ago was uttered in error.

-.The need for Nigeria to take advantage of opportunities presented by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic to improve its health infrastructure was harped on by the Federal Government, which warned that another pandemic outbreak could be disastrous for the country. The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, gave this warning while inaugurating the Board of Experts (BoE) of the Healthcare Sector Research and Development Intervention Scheme (HSRDIS) in Abuja on Monday, adding that the country could be forced to start all over again, if it failed to make critical improvements to its health system.

-.Governor Rotimi Akeredolu emerged the winner of the Ondo State All Progressives Congress (APC) Guber primary which took place on Monday. He polled 2458 votes to defeat other nine aspirants in the election. Two aspirants, IfeOluwa Oyedele and Olusegun Abraham had earlier stepped down for Akeredolu in the election. 

-.Sacked National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, says he remains committed to the ideals and values of the party as nobody could push him out. Mr. Oshiomhole, who made this assertion during a reception put together in his honour by his supporters at his country home in Iyahmo, Etsako-West Local Government Area of Edo State on Sunday, said that the fifth columnists in the Edo State chapter of the party, had been identified and neutralized, adding that the APC remained stronger with the exit of the bad eggs who were bent on destroying it.

The Presidency has asked Nigerians to brace up for more shocking revelations from the ongoing probe of the suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu. Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, made this disclosure.

-.601 repentant former members of Boko Haram have been freed from the DRR Camp in Mallam Sidi, Gombe State, and reintegrated into the society. Among those freed are 14 foreign nationals from Cameroon, Chad and Niger.This was disclosed by the Coordinator, Operation Safe Corridor, Major General Bamidele Shafa, on Saturday.

That’s all for News Recap this week. Until next week, when we meet again on this platform, have a great week!

Agenda Watchdog

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