By Gift Chapi -Odekina
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila has given the Minister of Niger Delta affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio 24 hours to publish names of the National Assembly members awarded contracts by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
He threatened that if Akpabio fails to do so, he will face the wrath of the parliament.
This came after the Minority leader of the House, Hon. Ndidu Elumelu spoke under Matter of Privilege asking the Committee on Niger Delta to explain the allegations made by the minister against the lawmakers.
He further stated that was no part of those lawmakers alleged in the purported contract scam, insisting that the minister’s statements should be investigated.
In his response, the Speaker who was livid with anger over the allegations, said ” I am given the minister 24 hours to publish in the papers, the names of the lawmakers, the contract, the amount and the companies given these contracts.
Gbjabiamila isssued the ultimatum and warned that the Green Chamber under his leadership “cannot and should not be subject to ridicule”.
Elumelu dded that the minister might have lied under oath, having said he never influence any project in the budget during his tenure as a Senator for his personal gain.
Elumelu reading a letter written to the NDDC boss by Senator Akpabio asking for some project to be included in the NDDC budget for his constituent, asked that the letter be investigated by the house and the Minister should include his name in the names of lawmakers to be published.
In his response again the Speaker said that the house should be careful and be able to distinguish between constituency project and award of contract.
“With the letter you have read, I think the Minister wrote that letter to lobby for constituency project to his constituent and not contract as he denied yesterday.
“The Minister been a former lawmaker had the duty to attract projects to his constituent so I think that should be noted.
“What we should do is for the committee on NDDC during its oversight function investigate the project, who the contractors are and if the projects were actually executed.
Recall that Akpabio had on monday at the ongoing investigation of the House into allegations of corruption against the interim management committee (IMC) of the NDDC alleged that “most of the contracts at the NDDC were given to National Assembly lawmakers” and that he had never at any point influenced any contract in his favour.