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NDDC: House of Representatives to sue Akpabio for perjury

The House of Representatives has threatened to sue the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, over his claim that members of the National Assembly…

The House of Representatives has threatened to sue the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, over his claim that members of the National Assembly are the major beneficiaries of contracts awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The minister made the allegation at his appearance before the House Committee on NDDC.

The House, however, at its plenary on Tuesday, challenged the minister to publish the names of the beneficiaries.

The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, on Thursday, said the House will take legal action through civil proceedings against Akpabio for his allegations against members of the House which he failed to substantiate.

 

The 48 hour ultimatum

The House of Representatives had, last Tuesday, asked Akpabio, to publish, within 48 hours, members of the 9th National Assembly who contracts from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

Ruling on a matter of privileges brought by Minority leader, Ndudi Elumelu, Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila said the Minister, who alleged 60 percent of contracts from the NDDC were given to members of the National Assembly, should publish the benefiting lawmakers, especially members of the 9th Assembly.

He further said the names of their companies and the contracts they got should be published or face the wrath of the House.

Gbajabiamila said the Minister owes it a duty to himself, the House Committee on Niger Delta, the people of Niger Delta and Nigerians to publish the names.

 

The allegation

Akpabio, had alleged that most of the contracts of the NDDC were awarded to the National Assembly members.

The minister, in Abuja on Monday, said this to the House of Representatives Committee on NDDC investigating financial mismanagement in the NDDC.

“Most of the contracts in NDDC are awarded to National Assembly members,” he said.

A member of the committee, Boma Goodhead (PDP, Rivers) challenged Akpabio: “You were a member of the NDDC Committee in the 8th Assembly.

“Are you telling me that lots of jobs were awarded to you?”

Responding, the minister said: “No.”

The lawmaker took on him again, saying “If you were not awarded the contracts, why are you coming here to say that you are aware that lawmakers were awarded contracts?”

But as Akpabio attempted to respond, the deputy chairman of the committee, who presided over the session, Thomas Ereyitomi, interrupted him thus: “It’s okay Hon. Minister! It’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay. Hon. Minister, it’s okay. Don’t talk again, off your mic.”

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