by Linda Ikeji
No fewer than 30 members of the House of Representatives have been mandated to appear before the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges for allegedly receiving contracts worth N100billion from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Tribune reports that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, gave the directive during the Thursday plenary when he referred the letter sent by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, to the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges for further investigation.
Some of the members listed in the controversial letter are from Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Ondo, Imo, as well as unnamed ‘Caucus in the House of Representatives’.
Akpabio in the three-page letter with Ref. No: MNDA/HM/041/IV/158 dated 23rd July 2020, and titled ‘Some Niger Delta Development Commission contracts allegedly given to some members of the National Assembly (Senate and House of Representatives)’, alleged that the House investigating committee on NDDC refused and/or neglected to give him the “opportunity to explain the reference to most NDDC contracts yearly being awarded since 2001 from the records allegedly to members of the National Assembly in both chambers. However, the two chairmen of the committee on NDDC had adequate knowledge.”
The minister’s letter in part reads
“It has always been known that the two chairmen of the Committees on NDDC in both chambers yearly exhibit unusual influence to the exclusion of committee members and even the management of NDDC in appropriating funds to details embellished in the budget after passage of the line items at the plenaries.”
While justifying his position, Senator Akpabio stated that:
“To show you some typical examples, herewith attached are documents showing nature of contracts, amount of such contracts (in some cases), date of awards and beneficiaries some were awarded to the two chairmen of both Committees in the House of Representatives and the Senate respectively serving at the period of the awards (Annexures ‘B’, ‘C’, and ‘D’). However due to the 48 hours’ notice the Forensic Auditors could not sift through the thousands of files in their possession to provide more,” the minister informed the Speaker.
“Some of the members listed in the controversial letter are from: Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Ondo, Imo, as well as unnamed ‘Caucus in the House of Representatives.”
Some of the acronyms written on the Annexures A, B, C and D attached to the Minister’s letter are Bayelsa Rep who got a contract worth N413,293,006.88; Ondo Rep/Ubadinma Blessing who got contracts worth N552,563,379.38; Imo Rep who got contracts worth N585,577,933.50; Edo Rep who got contracts worth N502,435,025.17; House of Reps caucus also got contracts worth N254,384,426.63 with contract details of Kabaka Brown; NE Rep got two contracts got 2 contracts worth N717.555 million; while one Hon. Nadu who got contract worth N484,762,887.
Also listed as beneficiaries of the multi-billion naira NDDC contractors are: TC/COP Villa/MD who got several contracts for undisclosed amounts; AIG Operations Abuja who got contracts worth N186,771,348.75, while DIG/Ochei got contract worth N348,702,613.61; GOC 6 Division also got contract worth N349,976,919.86; CSO/CNC got contract worth N150,342,858.75; MD/EFCC for a contact of Godwin Udoidiong for an undisclosed amount; George Moghalu National Auditor/EDP also got contracts worth N198,397,145.63; EDP/Giadom also got contract worth N663,155,999.63 and N649,013 million; while Justice Nnamdi Dimg alt=’House of Representatives mandates over 30 members to appear before committee for allegedly receiving NDDC contracts worth N100bn’ class=’img-responsive text-center’ style=’margin: auto;’ha FHC got contract worth N249,555,206.25.