The Chairman of the House of Representatives committee on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, has stepped aside as head of the panel investigating alleged financial recklessness in the NDDC.
A report monitored from Premium Times indicates that Tunji-Ojo stated this on Monday during the continued hearing in the National Assembly.
The NDDC acting managing director, Daniel Pondei, had last Thursday staged a walkout on the committee.
Mr Pondei, who appeared with other management staff of the commission, accused Mr Tunji-Ojo of corruption, saying his team would not speak before the committee.
The lawmakers later passed a vote of confidence on the committee chairman while they asked Mr Pondei and the Niger Delta minister to appear before the committee on Monday.
While stepping down, on Monday, Mr Tunji-Ojo said though he had the support of his colleagues, he preferred to step aside in order to give all parties a fair hearing.
Meanwhile, Prof Daniel Pondei, the acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, had collapsed.
Pondei fainted where he was seated after the members of the House Committee on NDDC grilled him for about 45 minutes.
He was rushed out of the Conference Room 231, venue of the investigative hearing on illegal spending and mismanagement of funds.
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, however, stayed behind for the probe, which was suspended after the incident for about an hour.
Shortly after the hearing resumed, Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, joined the lawmakers at the investigative hearing.
Gbajabiamila explained that the decision by the Chairman, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, to recuse himself from the probe showed that the lawmakers were out to ensure a credible exercise.