Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has finally picked up the gauntlet thrown down by the National Assembly to name lawmakers who got contracts from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Akpabio, however, did not state if the lawmakers were directly awarded the contracts or they nominated the projects under their Zonal Intervention Projects, also known as constituency projects.
The former Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on the NDDC, Mr Nicholas Mutu, who represents the Bomadi/Patani Federal Constituency of Delta State, is among those linked by the minister with contracts.
The minister listed Mutu’s name against 74 projects, including various emergency road projects in Delta, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and Rivers states.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had on February 3, 2020, arraigned Mutu before Justice Folashade Giwa-Ogunbanjo of the Federal High Court in Abuja for alleged abuse of office and fraud involving about N320m.
Akpabio also linked the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi (Delta-North), with 53 projects, which included emergency repairs of Asue Street, Owa Phase 2; ldumuogbe Road via Ojemaye; Otolokpo College Road, Otolokpo; and the Police lshu Ani Ukwu Road, Issele Uku.
Other lawmakers that Akpabio listed projects against are Senator Matthew Urhoghide (Edo-South), six; James Manager (Delta-South), six; Samuel Anyanwu (Imo-West, 8th Senate), 19; and others simply identified as Ondo and Edo Reps.
The minister, however, did not provide the cost of the projects listed against the lawmakers’ names, while the value of contracts given to non-lawmakers had costs of various projects attached to them.
According to PUNCH, contracts listed against the names of the lawmakers were not up to 60 per cent of the 266 on the list provided by Akpabio.
Non-National Assembly members are also on the list.
It was further observed that the minister copied the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN).
The House had on Thursday resolved to sue Akpabio for alleged perjury and defamation of the parliament.
Akpabio had on Monday, while appearing before the House Committee on the NDDC during an investigative hearing on the alleged illegal spending and mismanagement of funds, claimed that the commission awarded members of the National Assembly 60 percent of contracts.