Godswill Akpabio, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, has released the list of lawmakers involved the alleged looting of funds from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Akpabio, in a document entitled: “Some Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Contracts Allegedly Given to some Members of the National Assembly – Senate and House of Representatives,” attached to his response to the threat by the House of Representatives to sue him over the allegations that federal lawmakers were the major contractors of NDDC, listed four senators as receiving 74 contracts from the commission between 2017 to date.
Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, Chairman of the House Committee on NDDC, was also accused of inserting 19 contracts worth N9 billion into 2019 NDDC budget.
It would be recalled that the House of Representatives Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, had last week given Akpabio a 48-hour ultimatum to identify lawmakers that are NDDC contractors as he alleged during his testimony before the House Committee on NDDC.
Gbajabiamila had signified the House’s readiness to head to court to seek the prosecution of the minister for criminal defamation, a few hours after the expiration of the ultimatum given.
He was to later read a letter from Akpabio, in response to the one written to him by the House Clerk, in which the minister reportedly denied making the allegations.
However, a national daily at the weekend, learnt at the weekend that Akpabio’s annexure to the letter included a list detailing the names and NDDC jobs given to the lawmakers.
Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, Chairman of the Senate Committee on NDDC, allegedly executed 53 NDDC projects from 2017 to date, according to the list.
Three other senators were also accused. They are: Matthew Urhoghide, James Manager and Sam Anyanwu of executing a total of 21 NDDC contracts during the period under review.
In the bulky document, Akpabio also fingered the Chairman of the House Committee on NDDC in 19 contracts worth N9 billion inserted into the 2019 NDDC budget.
The contracts listed against Nwaoboshi’s name included Emergency Repairs of Asue Street, Owa Phase 2; Emergency Repairs of ldumuogbe Road via Ojemaye; Emergency Repairs of Otolokpo College Road, Otolokpo; and Emergency Repairs of Police lshu Ani Ukwu Road, Issele Uku in Delta State.
They also included Emergency Repairs of old Sapele Agbor Road, Obiaruku; Emergency Repairs of Ehwerhe Obada Road Agbarho Road; Emergency Repairs of Hon. Ifeanyi Eboigbe Street, Boji Boji Owa/Goodwill Street, Owa Alero; and Emergency Repairs of Ahiama Okwu to Obuocha Okwu among others, all in Delta State.
Other National Assembly members that Akpabio listed projects against are, Senator Mathew Urhoghide (six projects), Senator James Manager (six projects); former Senator, Sam Anyanwu (19 projects), and others simply identified as Ondo and Edo representatives while the project cost was not supplied by the minister.
Akpabio also listed one Mutu’s name against 74 projects which included various emergency road projects in Delta, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, and Rivers States.
The minister, in accusing the Chairman of the House of Representatives committee on NDDC, Tunji-Ojo, of padding the 2019 budget of the NDDC with 19 contracts worth N9 billion, revealed that “in the 2019 budget, the Executive Director in charge of projects forwarded to me the attached list of 19 Nos. old contracts amounting to almost N9billion after tax, that the House of Representatives Committee Chairman on NDDC, Honourable Tunji-Ojo, insisted that the IMC of NDDC must pay before 2019 budget details could be released to the commission.”