From Tony Akowe and Jide Orintunsin, Abuja
The Home of Representatives has declared a ‘warfare’ in opposition to Niger Delta Affairs Minister Godswill Akpabio.
It needs Senator Akpabio to, inside 48 hours, present the names of the Nationwide Meeting members whom he accused on Monday of being beneficiaries of Niger Delta Improvement Fee (NDDC) contracts.
To indicate how critical the Home was concerning the allegation, Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila directed the Clerk of the Home, Patrick Giwa, to make sure that Akpabio complied with the directive.
Whereas testifying earlier than the Home committee probing alleged monetary recklessness in the NDDC, Akpabio stated: “We have now information to point out that many of the contracts of NDDC are given to members of the Nationwide Meeting, however you don’t learn about it.”
However, ruling on a matter of privileges introduced by the Minority Chief of the Home, Ndudi Elumelu, throughout Tuesday’s plenary, Gbajabiamila warned that the minister would face the “full weight of the legislation”, if he failed to adjust to the order.
Though he stated his preliminary response was to have a great chuckle when Akpabio made the allegation, he realised that it (allegation) impinged on the integrity of the Home.
He stated the minister, a senator within the eighth Nationwide Asembly and a former Akwa Ibom State State governor, owed it an obligation to himself, the Home Committee on Niger Delta, the folks of Niger Delta in addition to different Nigerians, to publish the names of the lawmakers who bought contracts from the NDDC.
The speaker added that the names of their firms, the contract they bought and different particulars of such contracts ought to be revealed by Akpabio.
The Speaker, who stated he believed that the minister solely got here earlier than the probe panel to play video games and trigger distraction for the Home, insisted that the investigation have to be concluded.
He stated: “When the minister was making his presentation, I had a great chuckle, however I quickly realised that it was not humorous. The oldest joke within the books is to throw a joke or throw in issues to distract points. The media helped him to amplify what everyone knows is just not true, that 60 per cent of contracts in NDDC went to members of the Nationwide Meeting.
“It’s a distraction to the Nationwide Meeting and members of this Home and I’ll take the allegations very critical.
“I’ll give the minister between 24 and 48 hours to publish the names, contracts so awarded and the place. Unveil the corporate the contracts got to, particularly members of the ninth Meeting, failure which we can be compelled to convey the complete weight of the legislation.
“Each specific of the initiatives, particulars of members of the ninth Meeting who bought the contract. It will be important that we convey this to bear.
“The minister owes it an obligation to himself, the Niger Delta folks and Nigerians to publish the names of particulars of these bought the contracts.
“I imagine that the minister got here to play video games. The Home can’t topic itself to blackmail. We can’t sit again and watch an company of presidency throw allegations in opposition to the Home.
“Allegations have additionally been made in opposition to the Chairman of the Committee (Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo), with out cogent proof to again up the claims.
“We needed to ask him (Tunji-Ojo) to recuse himself with a view to give these invited the arrogance to testify earlier than the committee. It’s also instructive to state that the minister advised the committee yesterday (Monday) that the chairman by no means bought a contract from the NDDC.”
The Speaker additionally make clear studies yesterday that he stated the NDDC Appearing Managing Director Kemebradikumo Pondei, mustn’t seem earlier than the investigative committee once more,
He defined that the committee reserved the correct to recall Pondei to provide additional proof in the event that they thought of it vital to take action.