Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, lawmaker representing Delta North Senatorial District, has been directed to refund the sum of N2.5bn for contracts his companies allegedly failed to deliver by the Niger Delta Development Commission.
NDDC, however, did not state the names of the companies in the letter forwarded to Senator Nwaoboshi on Thursday 6th August.
The commission which is currently under investigation for fraudulent activities asked the lawmaker to refund the money within two weeks.
The letter dated July 5 signed by the Director, Legal Services of the NDDC, Peter Okoro, asked the senator to pay back the money meant for the supply of plastic chairs and desks for primary and secondary schools in the Niger Delta region in 2017.
It read, “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.”
It was stated in the letter that the lawmaker’s companies were paid to supply the plastic chairs and desks to schools in Delta North Senatorial District, including desks and benches to selected schools in the Niger Delta.
The NDDC noted, “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 resultant effect is that the commission and the Niger Delta region have been deprived of the use of the desks and chairs.”
The letter was confirmed by the spokesperson of the commission, Charles Odili.
Nwaoboshi while reacting to the letter through his media aide, Awele onokwai, on Friday, noted that the matter is already before a court and he further stated that he is yet to receive a copy of the letter purportedly addressed to him from the NDDC.
The lawmaker further stated that the letter is fake and it is not officially addressed or signed. He also said that the letter did not link him to any of the contracts.
The statement read in part, “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 and we make bold to state the following:”
“That the purported matter is sub judice 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 Senator Peter Nwaoboshi was written on the 5th of July 2020 and as of today, 7th of August 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.”
Nwaoboshi, his colleagues in the National Assembly and some former ex-governors have denied being contractors to the NDDC.