By Sodiq Yusuf
Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Daniel Pondei, appeared to faint as the House of Representatives committee on NDDC grilled him on Monday.
Lawmakers investigating corruption allegations in the NDDC had on Friday summoned Pondei and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, to appear before them today (Monday) as the country sought to understand how budgetary allocations to the agency had been spent.
Pondei had been grilled for over an hour and when he slowly slumped over his desk, appearing too faint.
He then appeared to be in a seizure with a man, holding open his mouth as others held him upright. After he appeared to regain and lose composure intermittently, he was moved out of the session.
Today’s development makes it the fourth time a public official slumped during an investigation probe into allegations of public misconduct, corruption and political issues.
On May 21, 2018, the former spokesperson of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh accused of receiving N400million from the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, ahead of 2015 general election slumped while making his way to the dock for continuation of his trial.
The confusion caused by the sudden collapse forced the presiding judge, Justice Okon Abang to stand down the matter for almost half an hour to enable medical officials attend to the embattled erstwhile spokesperson.
Metuh slumps in Court
Metuh leaving the court premises on a stretcher
Also, the immediate past Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Dino Melaye slumped shortly before interrogation by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad on Friday, January 4, 2019 and was taken to an undisclosed hospital for medical attention.
Melaye when he slumped
Melaye assisted by some policemen and individuals after his arrest.
Dino had surrendered to the Police after an eight-day siege on his Abuja residence, after which he was driven to the Force headquarters, Abuja, in a Police convoy.
The former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose on July 11, 2018 slumped after he was said to have been teargassed and slapped by the Police.
Lere Olayinka, spokesman to Fayose, had said his principal lost consciousness and was taken to Government House clinic after policemen fired teargas canisters into the Government House.
The former Governor who appeared live on Channels Television was continuously wailing, ““I am in pains”, “I am in severe pains”. “I call on the international; community; Ekiti is under siege.”
Slumping has for the last few years been the leeway for public office holders to either evade arrest or prosecution from security agencies during court sittings or probe by relevant government institutions.