Reps to Akpabio: You must publish names of National Assembly members involved in NDDC contracts - AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY NEWS



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Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Reps to Akpabio: You must publish names of National Assembly members involved in NDDC contracts

The House of Representatives, on Tuesday, insisted that the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio must publish the names of lawmakers who allegedly benefitted from contract racketeering in the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
It would be recalled that Akpabio had during an investigative hearing alleged that members of the National Assembly were the beneficiaries of most of the contracts awarded by the NDDC.
The allegation prompted the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila to give Akpabio 48 hours to publish the names of such contractor-lawmakers.
Akpabio in response to the directive, wrote a letter to the Speaker where he named some lawmakers who allegedly benefitted from NDDC‘s contract racketeering.
Some of the lawmakers named in his letter by Akpabio have however, denied executing any NDDC contract.
James Manager, Senator representing Delta South Senatorial District, who denied benefitting from NDDC contract had threatened legal action over the inclusion of his name.
However, a statement by the spokesman of the House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu described the Minister’s letter as a deflection from the ongoing probe which Nigerians should ignore.
Kalu disclosed that the Minister in his letter to Gbajabiamila exonerated the 9th National Assembly of any involvement in NDDC’s contract racketeering.
The statement reads: “Nigerians encouraged to ignore the deflections and query ₦81.5billion spent by IMC
“The Minister claimed under oath that 60% of all the NDDC projects under investigation were awarded to members of the House between the months of January and May 2020.
“Following this disturbing allegation, the leadership of the 9th House issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the Minister to publish a list of the legislators allegedly awarded 60% of the entire projects of NDDC between January and May 2020.
“Instead of publishing the list for the world to see in the interest of transparency, the Minister in his usual diversionary tactics, chose to send an irrelevant 8-paragraph private letter to the Speaker regarding projects of 2018 which pre-date the 9th House of Representatives
“The House, therefore, reiterates that the Minister was given an ultimatum to publish names and not to write a personal letter to the Speaker. The Honourable Minister is hereby cautioned to desist from spinning tales and is invited to go public as instructed.
“Nevertheless, it will interest Nigerians to know that paragraph 3 of the Minister’s letter fully exonerated the 9th Assembly. Also, in paragraph 7, the Minister completely withdrew his previous statement about 60% of the NDDC projects being awarded to members of the 9th Assembly.”

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