President Muhammadu Buhari has removed Kemebradikumo Pondei (pictured), acting managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman, who announced the development in a statement on Saturday night, said the president has approved Effiong Awa, acting executive director of finance and administration of the commission, as the new head of the agency.
Adesina said Akwa would be in charge of the agency until the completion of the forensic audit ordered by the president.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of an interim administrator to oversee the affairs of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC),” the statement read.
“He is Mr Effiong Okon Akwa, the Ag. Executive Director, Finance and Administration of the Commission, who is to assume headship till completion of the forensic audit.
“Mr Akwa is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
“The development became necessary as a result of plethora of litigation and a restraining order issued recently against the Interim Management Committee of the NDDC by a Federal High Court in Abuja.”
Buhari had appointed Pondei, a professor of medicine at the Niger Delta University (NDU) in February but his tenure was dogged with controversy.
Beneficiaries of NDDC scholarship overseas had complained about abandonment while there were different allegations of fraud against the agency under his watch.
This had led to a probe by the national assembly.
On July 20, Pondei collapsed while answering questions from the panel probing alleged mismanagement of N40 billion by the interim management committee of the NDDC.
Many Nigerians, especially on social media, had said Pondei pretended so as to avoid being held accountable by the lawmakers.
But he described the allegation that he deliberately passed out as ridiculous.