The Senate has commenced investigations into the alleged job racketeering in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The upper chamber of Nigeria’s bicameral legislature, through its Committee on Ethics and Privilege explained that there were a series of petitions before his panel by aggrieved job seekers from the oil-rich Niger Delta region of the country.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges, and Public Petitions Senator Ayo Akinyelure disclosed this to journalists on Thursday at the National Assembly in Abuja.
He said the probe followed a petition accusing the immediate past Minister of Niger Delta Affairs Senator Godswill Akpabio and the management of the NDDC of refusing to document the appointments of seven job seekers from Ondo State who legitimately applied and were issued letters of employment to work in the Commission.
The senator said, “The former management of the NDDC carried out a lot of atrocities in that commission and our committee has advised Umana Umana and the new managing director to go deep and review all the issues.
“Cases of Nigerians that had been shortchanged and disenfranchised from working in the agency of government should be given employment immediately.
“There are original employment letters before our committee. Many letters were issued to qualified Nigerians after they had passed both written and oral interviews but they were not allowed to resume.
“We have their petitions before us and the man from the NDDC that testified before the committee that the letters were genuine, was later sacked by the management.
“There were massive cases of employment racketeering in the NDDC. Those who have genuine letters were not documented because they were asked to go and pay money that they could not afford.”
He added, “Those who were perpetrating the illegality would now sell the employment to those who didn’t participate in any interview at all. They are already working there now.
Senator Akinyelure, however, said the Ethics Committee has absolved the current Minister of Niger-Delta Affairs Umana Okon Umana of any wrongdoing in the alleged job racketeering and corruption allegations.