NDDC Gate: Akpabio Recants As Reps Head To Court, Denies 60 Percent Contract Allegation


News Investigators/ The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has recanted on the allegations that 60 percent of contracts awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), saying it was in reference to members’ constituency projects.

Mr. Akpabio’s reaction is coming on the heels of the House resolve to drag him to court for perjury and criminal defamation.

Earlier, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, had threatened to sue Akpabio for making such a weighty allegation against the National Assembly.

“I recognise that the House has not always lived up to the high expectations of the Nigerian people. As much as we still have a lot to do in that regard, I refuse to sit here in good conscience and allow anyone to assassinate the character of the House in an attempt to deflect accountability for their conduct in office. Such mendacity as was witnessed at the public hearing will not be tolerated from anybody no matter how highly placed.

“This morning, I asked the Clerk of the House of Representatives to engage the services of legal counsel, and instruct them to initiate a criminal complaint of perjury against the Minister. At the same time, we will instruct counsel to explore the possibility of a civil defamation suit against the Minister.

“The House of Representatives is a public trust placed in our care for the duration of our term in office. We must prove ourselves worthy of this public trust or risk the censure of history. Therefore, we will resist every attempt to undermine this institution, whether such attempts come from within or from outside. This House will live up to the highest expectations of the Nigerian people. This is our commitment, and we will not fail.

During the proceeding, the Speaker also announced the receipt of Mr. Akpabio’s response, saying the minister referred to old contracts awarded by the NDDC which are part of the constituency projects of the lawmakers.

The Speaker also said Akpabio’s response would be directed to the Committee on Ethics and Privileges to substantiate the minister’s claims.


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