Cheryl Kahla
Audience and Content Strategist
2 minute read
5 Jul 2022
4:36 pm

WATCH: Did a Nigerian official fake fainting? What we know about the viral video

Cheryl Kahla

Did David Pondei faint 'under the weight of corruption'? Here's the story behind the viral 35-second clip.

Photo: Screengrab of footage

A viral video doing the rounds on social media – of Nigerian official Daniel Pondei seemingly fainting in the National Assembly – is sure to get a chuckle or two from netizens.

The short clip shows the official ‘fainting’ in the House of Representatives after he was asked about reportedly misusing public funds.

Fact or fiction? Here’s the story behind the viral video.

Nigerian official fainting in parly?

NDDC probe

The clip is real but not recent. Back in 2020, Daniel Pondei, the acting managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) caused quite the stir.

Pondei collapsed when he was asked about the misappropriation of public funds. He was revived and escorted out by a policeman and two other men.

Chairman of the House Committee, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, was forced to adjourn proceedings for 15 minutes to determine whether to continue the probe.

Watch: Daniel Pondei faints

Pondei was resuscitated when his aides “poured water on him”, the International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) reported.

Later, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) said Pondei’s “dramatic collapse […] underscores the weight of corruption that has bedevilled the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration”.

As reported by Deji Elumoye in Port Harcourt, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) investigated money laundering claims to the value of N81.5 billion (R3.2 billion).

‘Taking care’ of themselves

The panel specifically wanted to know about 641 million naira paid to a particular Clear Point Communications.

In addition, the sum of 536 million naira was paid to another company for the Save Lives in the Niger Delta campaign.

Pondei said his department received N6.4 billion monthly since February [2020] but nothing since June. He added: “We also got little from oil companies, about N72.billion between February to June.

The committee, however, insisted that Pondei give a specific figure of the amount spent. Before he fainted, Pondei said the commission spent 1.5 billion naira to “take care” of themselves.