The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has given the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, 48 hours to publish the names of lawmakers who were awarded contracts by Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) as well as the details of the contracts.
Gbajabiamila said Akpabio should Akpabio fail to publish the names, adding that chamber will employ the full wrath of the law to ensure he does so.
The Speaker issued the ultimatum during plenary on Tuesday, a day after the minister claimed that most of the contracts awarded by the NDDC were awarded to lawmakers.
During Akpabio’s before the House Committee on NDDC on Monday, he alleged that the lawmakers were “the greatest beneficiaries” of NDDC contracts.
When asked how the lawmakers benefitted, the Senator said, “I just told you that we have records to show that most of the contracts in the NDDC are given out to members of the National Assembly”.
Gbajabiamila, who accused Senator Akpabio of pulling the oldest trick in the book with the claims, believes the minister owes it the country to publish the names in the interest of transparency.
It would be recalled that on Thursday the speaker had to intervene in the sitting of the committee after the Acting Managing Director of the NDDC, Daniel Pondei slumped while being interrogated about spending by the commission.
He had called for calm and assured all those invited to appear before the committee that the invites were in the interest of the country and not targeted at anyone.
Explaining that it was a fact-finding mission, the Speaker wished Pondei quick recovery and urged the committee to proceed quickly and wrap up its investigations, stressing that Pondei had already submitted documents to them.
While issuing an ultimatum to Senator Akpabio about his claims, the speaker, however, said the committee had the right to invite Pondei again should it feel the need to do so.