Chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) COVID-19 Palliatives Distribution Committee, Sobomabo Jackrich, has fired back at the Interim Management Committee (IMC) following his allegations that the Prof. Keme Pondei-led IMC diverted N6.25bn COVID-19 palliatives meant for the Niger Delta region.

Jackrich in a statement in Port Harcourt at the weekend asked the IMC to hold its peace and prepare to defend itself before the National Asembly insisting he had evidence for every allegation contained in his petition.

He described the response of the IMC to his petition as amusing saying it was ridiculous for the commission to refer to him as the erstwhile chairman of the palliative committee.

He said: “Ridiculously, the Commission now suddenly refers to me in their statement as the erstwhile Chairman of the NDDC COVID-19 Palliatives Distribution Committee. This is all in a bid to mischievously and erroneously give the impression that I lack the locus to speak in my capacity as the substantive and incumbent Chairman of the Palliatives Distribution Committee.

“This is only desperately aimed at illegitimately giving recognition to their pseudo arrangement where they falsely claimed to have used an in-house Department in place of my office to carry out the Palliatives Distribution in the region thereby surreptitiously making my duly appointed and inaugurated Committee irrelevant.

“Whereas I never begged to be Chairman but for my track records and philanthropic antecedents in the region, I was duly appointed, inaugurated and Palliatives Distribution duly flagged off with me leading side by side the Interim Management Committee IMC while I was mandated to do my job”.

He, however,.observed that the IMC failed to deny any of the allegations contained in his petition including the payment of scam contractors and denial of payments to genuine uncompromising contractors by the IMC.

He said: “The unwholesome efforts by the Corporate Affairs Directorate of the NDDC to defend the indefensible acts of the IMC in the face of the overwhelming scandals and allegations smacks either deep ignorance or scantiness of facts on their part.

“It will be rather most dignifying for the NDDC to wait to defend themselves in the National Assembly probe when scheduled so they do not destroy their almost unavailable chances of justifying their malfeasance because I have evidence for every allegations contained in my petition.

“Hence, the press is not the place of response to my weighty petition which was verified by a Court affidavit deposed to by myself. Therefore, I will not fall for the snare to run any marathon with the NDDC at this point to defend my petition in the media because that is only aimed at circumventing the process.

” At the appropriate time, the IMC shall explain themselves and account for every kobo approved in the 6.25 billion Naira by His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari for the benefit of the indigent people of the Niger Delta who have now been denied.

“Every claim on the purchase of the so-called medical equipment contained in their response remains false and all such distributions to states are absolutely misleading because our evidence will expose it. The Education, Health and Social Services Directorate (EHSS) plan was only an afterthought gimmick to coverup our whistleblowing on the alleged embezzlement.

“Is it not curious that a Committee properly constituted, inaugurated and task flagged off has suddenly become nonexistent and ‘redundant’ according to them just because a demand for probity and accountability is instituted?

“While I deny in entirety the falsehood that my petition is a blackmail and that the bulk of my petition dwelt on the refusal of the IMC to pay me a ‘humongous amount of money’ as they said, for being Chairman of the Committee, non of these poor and weak propaganda will deter me from setting the records straight because I am not a poor man nor a jobless folk like certain persons who came for cheap popularity as they wrongly assume.

“My philanthropic track records and antecedents remain unbeatable and every money that is due me is what i worked for and i should be paid without further compromise. My claims are legitimate and there is nothing personal in my allegations. If the Prof. Daniel Pondei-led NDDC IMC had done the right thing, we will not be facing this sort of national embarrassment that they are currently bringing to our region”.