The Senate recently confirmed President Buhari’s 15 member nominees for the Niger Delta Development Commission board while Buhari was away on a Private visit to the United Kingdom.
Ex-Edo State Deputy Governor Pius Odubu was confirmed as Chairman of the board while Delta State’s Bernard Okumagba was confirmed as Managing Director and Bayelsa State’s Maxwell Okoh as Executive Director Finance and Administration.
Others are Prophet Erue (Delta), Victor Ekhator (Edo), Otobong Ndem (Akwa Ibom), Nwogu Nwogu (Abia), Theodore Allison (Bayelsa), Maurice Effiwatt (Cross River), Uchegbu Kyrian (Imo) and Ardo Zubairu (North-East).
The rest are Olugbenga Elema Ondo), Aisha Muhammed (North-West), Victor Antai (Akwa Ibom) and Abdullahi Bage (North-Central).
However, the Senate confirmation came after Akpabio had curiously appointed Joy Nunieh as the Managing Director of an interim board of NDDC in what insiders described as an illegality.
Sources told pointblanknews.com that since Buhari returned from his private visit to London, stakeholders have been meeting with the President to have him swear-in the Odubu/Okumagba board to stave off a possible unrest in the Niger Delta region.
According to a sources, after the President had agreed to swear-in the new board, Akpabio rushed to Attorney General Malami to persuade him to raise a memo claiming the constituted board which had Okumagba from Delta state, violated the NDDC Act.
Akpabio, pointblanknews.com gathered, told Malami that under the NDDC Act, which recognizes rotation, it was not the turn of Delta state to emerge the position of Managing Director of NDDC.
“He told Malami to impress it upon the President that he would be violating the NDDC Act if he goes ahead with the planned swearing-in of the Odubu/Okumagba board,” the source who is an insider hinted.
Sources told pointblanknews.com that to write the memo and stop the President from swearing-in the new board, Malami demanded $2million in bribe which he said was to be shared with others in the Villa.
And swiftly, the money was raised and paid to the Attorney General, a source familiar with the deal said.
It is not immediately known those in the Presidential Villa who are going to be beneficiaries of the bribe money. Although the source said the Chief of staff and other close aides of the President might be the beneficiaries.
“I can confirm to you that $2million bribe has already been paid to Malami to do the memo to the president to reject the already screened NDDC board. Akpabio is desperate and wants the Nunieh led interim board remain, the source said.
According to the source, Akpabio wants the Nunieh led interim board to remain and sign several contracts of his interest for as long as possible.