The acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Prof Kemebradikumo Pondei, convulsed and lost consciousness as a House of Representatives committee probes allegations of financial mismanagement and fraud at the commission.
Pondei's eyes popped out as he appeared to lose consciousness. Cans of Pepsi, water and Malt were emptied into his mouth to resuscitate him.
A man in a grey suit could be seen shoving his fingers into Pondei's mouth in an attempt to return him to consciousness.
The NDDC was created in 2000 to bridge the development gap in an oil rich but impoverished Niger Delta region. The agency has however been mired in corruption.
The House is investigating how the NDDC spent N40 billion in five months.
Earlier, Pondei had told the panel that: "There is no money missing in NDDC since I took over in February this year. Everything we have done is in accordance with the laid-down procedures."
Niger Delta Minister, Godswill Akpabio, is about to testify at the time of filing this report.
Akpabio has been repeatedly accused of corruption by former acting MD of the commission, Joi Nunieh.
Earlier, the chairman of the investigating House Committee, Rep. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo (APC-Ondo), stepped down from the committee on hearing day, July 20, 2020, following accusations of involvement in corrupt practices in the commission.
Pondei has been rushed to hospital.
House Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila stepped in midway into the day's dramatic events. The speaker said Pondei has been under the weather.
Gbajabiamila apologised for the stuffy and hot room where the hearing is being conducted.
"I apologise that we were not able to produce a more conducive atmosphere. We are sorry for the conditions. We wish Mr. Pondei all the best. The clerk will go to the hospital to find out how he's doing. This is not an adversarial or inquisitorial hearing," the speaker said.
Gbajabiamila also asked the committee to expedite the hearing, regretting that what was supposed to be a two-day hearing has become a four-day hearing.