Henry Ogiri Mansion, Port Harcourt

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is keeping close watch over the properties of persons who have been charged to court over series of corruption matters and their properties are perceived to have been acquired illegally.

Among such persons whose properties are under the EFCC watch are the Port Harcourt houses forfeited by former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueeke.

. Also under the watch of the commission is the seized mansion of erstwhile Director of Finance and Administration of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Henry Ogiri.

The Head, Assets Forfeiture of the Port Harcourt zonal office of the anti-graft agency, Oseni Kazeem, made the disclosure during a tour of civil society groups of properties allegedly acquired through ill-gotten wealth in the Rivers State capital. He revealed that the fear of the properties being vandalized prompted the commission to take a proactive stand to protect and secure them.

However, the chairman of Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA), Suraju Olanrewaju, said the forfeiture of Ogiri’s property “makes it even more imperative for President Muhammadu Buhari to expeditiously conduct a forensic audit of the NDDC.

“This is giving credence to the Federal Government’s directive that the whole NDDC (should) be audited. A Director of Finance, just one person, can have this palatial building that is only akin to what you will see in the Arabian Peninsula. He built it to his taste at the expense of the Niger Delta.”

Diesanni Madueke Highrise, Banana Island, Lagos

Besides, the interventionist agency has sought the support of the governors of the nine oil-producing states to fast-track the development of the region. This comes as its Director of Corporate Affairs, Charles Odili, welcomes the financial audit of the commission.

Odili described the governors as critical stakeholders and partners in the development of the Niger Delta.

He said: “I did mention that the governors visited Mr. President and that the President as the father of the nation reserves the right to look at the various components because the Federal Government puts in so much money and would like to see what we are getting out of that effort. It is a welcome development that a probe is coming as a lot of things will come to the fore.”

Odili noted that close collaboration with the state chief executives was crucial to the enthronement of a development-oriented Niger Delta.

The spokesman added: “The governors form the Advisory Committee which is supposed to meet from time to time to look at areas where they can intervene and advise management and board on the way forward. So, they are strategic partners in the process of building an egalitarian and a development-oriented Niger Delta region. The governors of the region are very important and worthy stakeholders in the task of building the region.”

It would be recalled the NDDC Corporate Affairs Director Odili last west lambasted the governors for daring to visit the President Buhari over the situation in NDDC. He had while speaking to the media accused the Niger Delta governors of instigating the probe of the Commission.