Members of the National Assembly named as beneficiaries of NDDC contracts by Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio have challenged him to prove his allegations.
The former Akwa Ibom State Governor named the lawmakers in a document sent to the National Assembly.
While dropping the list, however, Akpabio failed to mention if the projects allegedly carried out by the NDDC on behalf of the lawmakers were constituency projects or contracts given directly to the lawmakers by the commission.
Akpabio had accused the lawmakers of taking 60 percent of the contracts at the NDDC but later denied making the accusations after he was confronted by the House of Representatives.
He named Hon. Nicholas Mutu – 74 projects; Senator Peter Nwaoboshi (Delta North) – 53 projects; Senator Mathew Urhogide (Edo South) – six projects; James Manager (Delta South) – six projects; and Samuel Anyanwu (Imo West: 8th Assembly) – 19 projects.
The minister further claimed that Chairman of the House Committee on NDDC, Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo inserted 19 contracts worth N9 billion into the 2019 NDDC budget.
Reacting, Nwaoboshi, who served as Chairman of Senate Committee on Niger Delta, described the allegation as baseless and the minister as a confused person.
He challenged the minister to name the directors and shareholders of the companies that executed the 53 NDDC contracts.
“He (Akpabio) is confused. I challenge him to publish the directors and shareholders of these companies. I don’t award contract and I don’t pay for contracts. My brother, go to CAC and find out the truth. I pity him,” THISDAY quoted the senator as saying.
In his own reaction, Tunji-Bello accused Akpabio of attempting to divert attention from his alleged involvement in the misappropriation of NDDC resources.
He denied that Akpabio accused him of padding the budget, saying “what he wrote in his letter that was read which I heard was that the Executive Director in charge of Projects told him that I said they should pay for 19 old contracts before we could pass their 2019 budget.”
Tunji-Bello stated that he never made such a request and challenged Akpabio to prove him wrong by providing documentary evidence.