BREAKING: 30 Lawmakers Implicated By Akpabio In NDDC N100bn Contract Scandal To Face Panel.

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BREAKING: 30 Lawmakers Implicated By Akpabio In NDDC N100bn Contract Scandal To Face Panel.

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BREAKING: 30 Lawmakers Implicated By Akpabio In NDDC N100bn Contract Scandal To Face Panel.

Thirty (30) lawmakers have been mandated to appear before the House of Representatives' Committee on Ethics and Privileges having been implicated by Godswill Akpabio, Minister of Niger Delta in controversial 2018 emergency projects contracts worth N100bn.

Akpabio had last week forwarded a bombshell letter to the House, listing the 30 lawmakers as beneficiaries of contracts awarded by the distressed Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

Reps Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila who declared his keenness to get to the root of the matter, then referred the Minister's letter to the Committee for further investigation.

Some of the members listed in the controversial letter are from Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Ondo, Imo states as well as unnamed ‘Caucus in the House of Representatives’.

In the three-page letter with Ref No: MNDA/HM/041/ IV/158 dated 23rd July 2020 and entitled ‘Some Niger Delta Development Commission contracts allegedly given to some members of the National Assembly (Senate and House of Representatives)’, Akpabio alleged that the 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,” he said.

The Minister further added that: “It has always been known that the two chairmen of the Committees on NDDC in both chambers yearly exhibited unusual influence to the exclusion of committee members and even the management of NDDC in appropriating funds to details embellished in the budget after the passage of the line items at the plenaries.”

While justifying his position, 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.”

Some of the acronyms written on the Annexures A, B, C and D attached to the Minister’s letter are Bayelsa representative, who got a contract worth N413,293,006.88; Ondo representative Ubadinma Blessing), who got contracts worth N552,563,379.38; Imo representative, who got contracts worth N585,577,933.50; Edo representative, who got contracts worth N502,435,025.17; House of Representatives caucus also got contracts worth N254,384,426.63 with contract details of Kabaka Brown; North-East representative got two contracts worth N717.555 million; while one Honourable Nadu 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 a contract worth N348,702,613.61; GOC 6 Division also got a contract worth N349,976,919.86;

CSO/CNC got contract worth N150,342,858.75; MD/EFCC for a contact of Godwin Udoidiong for 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 Dimgha FHC got contract worth 249,555,206.25.

This is as scores of women on Monday barricaded the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) headquarters in Port Harcourt, Rivers State to demand transparency and accountability in the affairs of the agency.

The protesters, comprising activists from various civil society organizations and farmers, called on stakeholders in the Niger Delta to take practical action to address what they described as irresponsible spending and management of the NDDC funds.

Leader of the protesters, Emem Bridget, said it was morally offensive that only politically-exposed persons, their friends and families benefit from the programmes of the NDDC.

Bridget, who was flanked by representatives from Okwuzi Women Forum, Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre, Ego Women Human Rights and Environmental Justice Initiative, amongst others said while communities in the Niger Delta remained poor with no health facilities, no access to clean water, no public schools with quality facilities, high unemployment rate and insecurity, the NDDC had been engaged in wanton wastage of funds meant for development.

“None of the reported expenditure between January and May 2020 reflects a conscious plan to address the interest of people in hard-to-reach communities, particularly women. Is the probe at the National Assembly conducted to change things and benefit the Niger Delta people? NO! National Assembly members are part of the problem, the marginalization, the discrimination, the neglect of communities and the underprivileged. We say no to corruption,” she said.

NDDC PROBE: House Of Reps Receives Niger Delta Minister Godswill Akpabio's Letter

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