Senator Godswill Akpabio, the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, has reacted to what he called “a cornucopia of false, malicious, and libellous press interviews” granted by Ms. Gbene Joi Nuineh, the erstwhile Acting Managing Director of the Interim Management Committee, of the Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC) in some news and social media platforms and a “series of concerted vicious campaigns of calumny deviously orchestrated by her” against his person.
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, has named some federal lawmakers who allegedly got contracts from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The named lawmakers include the Chairman of the Senate committee on Niger Delta, Peter Nwabaoshi, whose name was listed against 53 projects.
Some of the projects include emergency repairs of Asue Street, Owa Phase 2; Idumuogbe Road via Ojemaye; Otolokpo College Road, Otolokpo; and the Police Ishu Ani Ukwu Road, Issele Uku, in Delta State.
Akpabio also said Senator Matthew Urhoghide got six projects, Senator James Manager got six contracts while a former senator, Samuel Anyanwu, got 19 projects.
The former Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on the NDDC, Nicholas Mutu, was also named by the minister as receiving 74 contracts – the highest among the listed lawmakers.
Some of the projects are emergency roads in Delta, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and Rivers states.
A few others were simply identified as Ondo and Edo Reps.
This was contained in a document seen by newsmen.
A spokesperson for Akpabio, Aniete Ekong, confirmed that the document containing the names was part of those sent by Akpabio to lawmakers investigating the NCDC.
The document also contained a list of projects assigned to non-members of the National Assembly.
Although the cost of the projects were not stated, the document shows that most of the projects were awarded in 2018, a year before the ninth assembly was inaugurated. It is also not clear whether or not they are constituency projects.
This revelation comes days after the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, threatened to sue the minister for alleged defamation of character.
This was after Akpabio at a hearing organised by the House panel, alleged that majority of the contracts in the NDDC are given out to members of the National Assembly. He was challenged by Gbajabiamila, to name the lawmakers involved in the scandal within 48 hours.
The minister earlier retracted his claim saying his reference was not to current lawmakers of the ninth assembly.
It also comes days after the Senate resolved to investigate allegations of corruption levelled by the Niger Delta Development Commission against some lawmakers.
The Senate gave its committee on ethics, privileges and public petitions four weeks to probe the allegations made by the management of the NDDC and Akpabio.
Both the House and the Senate have been investigating alleged misappropriation of funds and financial recklessness in the commission.