Niger Delta Minister, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has been linked with an attempt to shield Nsima Ekere and Nelson Brainbamfa who together looted over N450billion through phony emergency contracts from the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, when they served as Managing Directors, inside sources have told pointblanknews.com.
Ekere and Braimbaifa both allegedly looted N240billion and N200billion respectively when they served as MD of the NDDC.
Sources at the NDDC hinted Pointblanknews.com that as soon as President Mohammadu Buhari announced a forensic audit of the accounts of the intervention agency, Ekere and Braimbraifa rushed to Akpabio to seek protection.
Pointblanknews.com gathered that after separate meetings between Akpabio, Ekere, and Braimbraifa, the Niger Delta Minister resolved to recommend to Buhari that local Auditors be contracted to do the forensic audit of the NDDC.
Documents seen by Pointblanknews.comand information from insiders show an unprecedented pattern of sleaze, fraud, involving the award of phony emergency contracts that never existed or were never done but payments approved.
According to Pointblanknews.cominvestigations, Ekere who assumed office as the MD of the NDDC in 2016, collected a total sum of N500billion, out of which he approved for N240billion for phony emergency contracts.
Sources told pointblanknews.com that after three years as MD where he has built a war chest of over N240billion from shady contract deals, Ekere quit the NDDC, used part of the proceeds to run for the Governorship of Akwa Ibom state under the platform of the All Progressive Congress, APC. He lost the elections to the PDP.
After Ekere left the NDDC, Professor Nelson Braimbaifa was appointed as a replacement in February 2019.
As soon as Braimbraifa assumed office, he saw an opportunity to join the looting gangs of NDDC. He immediately started awarding emergency contracts. By the time he was fired after six months, Briambraifa and his two sons, Christopher and David had all connived to loot the agency of over N200billion through fake contracts, according to documents and insider accounts of happenings at the agency.
Sources at the NDDC corporate headquarters hinted Pointblanknews.comthat at the time he was fired, Brambraifa had signed tons of contracts to himself and phony companies totaling N130billion. In one single award letter made available to our correspondent, dated February 25, 2019, with reference number NDDC/BPP16/2019/02/01, for “Emergency Repairs of Roads” Brambraifa signed off strings of rollover contracts worth N81.2 Billion for repairs in nine states but no specific contractors were listed.
In May 2019, Brambraifa had sought permission from the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), to transfer contract award signature from Sam Adjogbe who was acting Executive Director of Projects of the NDDC. Upon approval, Brambraifa gave himself the powers to sign all contracts. He started signing contracts and backdating them from April 2019 when Adjogbe was still the signatory to contract papers, according to pointblanknews.com investigations.
Audit reports seen by Pointblanknews.com shows that Braimbraifa backdated and signed over N130billion contracts before he was kicked out as MD of NDDC.
According to a source, “the corruption in NDDC is almost like what we have at the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation. It is simply unimaginable and unprecedented in the history of the Niger Delta.”
An insider hinted that Akpabio’s reason to have local auditors do the forensic audit is simply to select Auditors who will do his bidding, cherry-pick contracts to be audited and ultimately shield Ekere and Braimbraifa from their shady deals at the NDDC from where they both looted over N440billion.
Pointblanknews.com sources in the Niger Delta ministry said last week that, Akpabio started piling pressure on the Acting MD, Mrs Akwagaga Lelegima Enyia, to pay N30billion to an unnamed contractor. It is not immediately clear if those represented some of the contracts Braimbraifa wants the agency to pay.
Sources confirmed to pointblanknews.com that since here appointment, Mrs. Enyia has been struggling to contain pressures being mounted on her by Akpabio to pay contractors.