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NDDC boss, Daniel Pondei, did not spend N5b for personal medical checkup

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An Instagram Page, Goldmynetv, claimed that the Acting Managing Director of NDDC, Daniel Pondei, spent N5 billion on medical checkups. 

The Instagram Post, according to findings, is misleading. Apart from wrongly tagging Pondei as ‘former boss’, there is no evidence that the said amount was spent on medical check ups.

Full Text

On Tuesday, 4th of August, a popular Instagram page, @goldmyneTv, with over a million followers posted two pictures of the Acting Managing Director of  the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Daniel Pondei.

 The pictures were captioned, “Former NDDC Boss, Pondei Who Fainted In National Assembly Spent N5 Billion Naira To Do Medical Checkups!” Further, the page asked its followers to share their thoughts on the development. This post has generated mixed reactions in the comments section. While some find it unbelievable, others consider it credible.

Screenshot of the claim

VERIFICATION

In the first place, the Instagram blog referred to Daniel Pondei as the ‘former NDDC Boss,’ a tag that is wrong. Pondei, who fainted at the NDDC 40 billion naira Probe is currently the Acting Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission; hence,  he remains the boss of the commission. Mr Pondei was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari 19th February 2020 to replace Ms Joi Nunieh. 

Although the past few weeks have been turbulent for Pondei because of corruption allegations against him, there’s been no announcement of change in the leadership at the NDDC.

Also, Dubawa reached out to @goldmynetv, via Instagram Direct Message, asking the platform for its source but our enquiry was not responded to.

Further, Dubawa conducted a keyword search about the alleged N5 billion medical care fund. This search led us to news publications in SaharaReporters and DailyPost. They were published from the Senate’s report on the allegations against NDDC. 

One of the findings in the Senate report is that Pondei and some other people spent N5 billion as medical allowances during the Covid-19 lockdown. 

Although N5 billion was mentioned here, it was in relation to allowances received during lockdown that held before the Senate hearing. Also, according to the Senate report, the fund was spent by many people and not only by Pondei.

These revelations are in contradiction to the inferences made by the Instagram page.

We reached out to the spokesperson of NDDC, Mr Charles Odili, regarding the claims and he responded, succinctly, ‘No iota of truth in the said publication’

CONCLUSION

The claim that Daniel Pondei spent N5bn on medical checkups is MISLEADING! Referring to Daniel Pondei, who is the acting managing director of the NDDC, as ‘former’ is not accurate. While credible news platforms have published that Pondei and some other people have shared the alleged 5bn during the lockdown as medical allowance, our claim-source, Goldmynetv, has made it seem like the NDDC Director has, single-handedly, used the money for medicals after his appearance at the Senate.

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