The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has given the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, an ultimatum of 48 hours to publish details of members of the House who collected contracts from the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
He issued the order in reaction to Akpabio’s allegation before an investigative panel on Monday that some lawmakers are beneficiaries of sleazy contract awards from the Commission.
Although the speaker said his initial reaction was to have a good laugh when the Minister made the allegations, he realised it infringes on the integrity of the House.
He said the Minister owes it a duty to himself, the House Committee on Niger Delta, the people of Niger Delta and Nigerians to publish the names of lawmakers who got contracts from the NDDC.
The Speaker noted since he joined the Green Chamber, he had never received any NDDC contract before.
He subsequently gave Akpabio 24 to 48 hours to reveal the identities of the lawmakers that received the contracts or face severe sanction.
The Speaker said, “This is my 5th term here and I have never for once collected anything from the National Assembly and I know I speak for a great majority of members of this House, a great majority. And because of that, I will take this allegation and accusation very seriously.
“And I will give the minister (Akpabio) 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 contracts so given, the dates because obviously these things will be documented; unveil the companies of the 60 per cent projects that were given to members of the National Assembly.”