The operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday arrested the former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Nsima Ekere, for the alleged diversion of funds to the tune of ₦47 billion through registered contractors of the agency.
This is according to the Commission’s spokesperson Wilson Uwajaren who confirmed the arrest on Wednesday.
The former NDDC boss was the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate for Akwa Ibom in the 2019 elections. He also lost the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial primary election to Governor Emmanuel Udom in 2015.
Nsima, 56, was the agency’s Managing Director between 2016 and 2018.
His arrest is the latest scandal to have been linked to the NDDC after President Muhammadu Buhari ordered a forensic audit of the agency in 2019.
The audit, which is being reviewed, covered the operations of the organization from 2001 to 2019.
Buhari, who lamented the alleged financial misappropriation in the NDDC, said his government will recover “every kobo” misappropriated.
“The serial abuse, lack of delivery, and what had become an entrenched institutional decay was the reason why I called for the forensic audit,” he said in December 2021 while commissioning the NDDC Prototype Hostel at the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom.
“Therefore, going forward we shall ensure every recoverable kobo, is recovered for use in service of the people of this region, and those found culpable shall face the Law.”
Before then, the former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs Senator Godswill Akpabio had said there are 13, 000 abandoned projects in the region.