BY AMOS DUNIA, ABUJA – Apparently peeved and pained over the weighty allegation by Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswil Akpabio that members of the National Assembly were the major beneficiaries of the contract bazaar at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila on Tuesday challenged the minister to publish the lists of beneficiaries.
This is just as the Senate through its Spokesman, Senator Ajibola Basiru said it is not enough to just leveled unfounded allegation that cannot be backed up with facts or proven in any way and therefore urged Akpabio to urgently name the NDDC contractors among the National Assembly members.
Senator Akpabio while testifying before the House of Reps panel probing allegations of corruption at the NDDC, alleged that members of the National Assembly were beneficiaries of more than 60 per cent of the contracts awarded by the commission.
However, not prepared to let the matter lie low, Speaker Gbajabiamila directed the Clerk of the House of Representatives to write the minister to publish the names of the members, contracts and projects awarded to members of the National Assembly that constituted 60 per cent of the contract of the NDDC.
In the words of Gbajabiamila; “I will give the minister 24 to 48 hours. Clerk, I want you to back this up with a letter from this House. Give the minister 24 to 48 hours to publish the names, the contract so given, the dates because obviously these things will be documented, let him unveil the companies of the 60 per cent projects that were given to members of the National Assembly”.
Similarly, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Ajibola Basiru said the allegation is general in nature and therefore urged Akpabio to list the legislators that benefitted from the contracts.
Basiru said; “The allegation is general. Let the minister be specific as to the contracts awarded and the names of the National Assembly members who got the so-called contracts. I am not aware of any such contract as a member of the National Assembly”.