The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has placed some of its key staff on mandatory leave over an ongoing forensic audit of the commission ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The affected staff, according to NDDC’s Director, Corporate Affairs, Charles Odili, would have full benefits, pending the conclusion and outcome of the audit of the Federal Government’s interventionist agency from 2000 to 2019.

Placing the staff on mandatory leave was based on the advice of the lead consultant on the forensic audit exercise, which was accepted by the Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei-led five-member Interim Management Committee (IMC) of NDDC, as earlier exclusively reported by The Nation.

Odili said in the statement: “The staff sent on mandatory leave fall into three categories: Those indicted by security agencies like the police, Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) and the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), for acts of impropriety.

“Those whose acts are the subject of investigations by the forensic auditors.

“Those who held key and sensitive positions in the commission during the period covered by the forensic audit and whose continued presence in the commission will interfere, impair, undermine or compromise the objective forensic auditing of the affairs of the commission.”

Odili also stated that the mandatory leave had taken immediate effect while the affected staff had already been notified.

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