The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has put up defence for the controversial passing out of its Acting Managing Director, Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei, at Monday’s public hearing of the House of Representatives Committee on the body.
Pondei, who is mired in the N40bn misappropriation scandal rocking the NDDC slumped at the hearing while being quizzed by the lawmakers with insinuation rife that he had no health problem and only put on an act to save his blushes.
In a statement entitled: “Prof Pondei has been ill”, and signed by Mr Charles Obi Odili, the Director of Corporate Affairs, NDDC, the Commission said the MD had been unwell since two weeks ago and ignored doctor’s advice to observe rest.
The statement read in part , “The Commission wishes to disclose that Prof Pondei, has been ill for the past two weeks. This morning, his condition deteriorated, and his doctors advised against attending the hearing. However, he ignored his doctors’ advice because of the realisation that his traducers will use his absence at the hearing to soil his name and reputation. He thought he could make it through the hearing and take care of his health later. As it turned out, his doctors were right. Prof Pondei is in a stable condition at a clinic in Abuja.”