During an investigative hearing before the House Committee on the NDDC, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio claimed that lawmakers were beneficiaries of majority of the NDDC contracts. Consequently, Hon. Akpabio released a list linking some members of the National Assembly to some contracts awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission. However, he failed to specify whether the lawmakers were directly awarded the contracts or they nominated the projects under their constituency projects.
The former Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on the NDDC, Mr Nicholas Mutu, who represents the Bomadi/Patani Federal Constituency of Delta State, is among those linked by the minister with contracts. Mutu’s name was listed against 74 projects, including various emergency road projects in Delta, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and Rivers states.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had on February 3, 2020, arraigned Mutu before Justice Folashade Giwa-Ogunbanjo of the Federal High Court in Abuja for alleged abuse of office and fraud involving about N320m.
Next is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi (Delta-North). Nwaoboshi coveted 53 projects, which included emergency repairs of Asue Street, Owa Phase 2; ldumuogbe Road via Ojemaye; Otolokpo College Road, Otolokpo; and the Police lshu Ani Ukwu Road, Issele Uku.
Other lawmakers include Senator Matthew Urhoghide (Edo-South), six; James Manager (Delta-South), six; Samuel Anyanwu (Imo-West, 8th Senate), 19; and others simply identified as Ondo and Edo Reps.
Interestingly, the minister only provided the lawmakers’ names and projects without including the cost of these projects. Meanwhile the cost of contracts given to non-lawmakers had costs of various projects attached to them. Furthermore, the minister copied to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) over the released list.
In response, the House had resolved to sue Akpabio for alleged perjury and defamation of the parliament.