NDDC probe: It is okay, Hon. Minister, it is okay – Deputy Chairman
Public search light is gradually being beamed on the activities of members of the National Assembly on matters relating to the wanton looting of the NDDC.
Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio who was testifying under oath on Monday alleged most contracts awarded by the NDDC may have gone to members.
The disclosure was like a bomb. Akpabio dumped it there in the open.
“It is okay, Hon. Minister, it’s okay”, the Deputy Chairman who presided called out from the podium as Akpabio continued.
His accusation that members have a hand in the pie before roving cameras sent Committee members into a rage.
Boma Goodhead, a female member, threw tantrums at the Minister over his allegation.
Akpabio retorted, “My Hon. Sister, you don’t know what is happening. ”
Goodhead representing Akuku Toru/Asari Toru Federal Constituency flared, saying it was improper for the Minister to smear innocent lawmakers who were not connected to the rot.
“It is okay; it is okay, Hon. Minister, it’s okay; the presiding officer barked, gavel in hand, “Minister put off your mic.”
Attempts by the Deputy Chairman of the Committee who sat in place of the Chairman, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo did not stop Rep Goodhead from further hitting the roof.
Despite apparent attempts to gag him, Akpabio who is a lawyer insisted most members may be unaware of the manipulations by the Chairmen of the National Assembly Committees which interface with the NDDC.
He said he was a minority leader of the Senate and so, knew what he was talking about.
Akpabio disclosed that 8000 files from the NDDC have been deposited with the forensic auditors.
Asked what he did with about 30 files that he is accused of taking possession of, Akpabio said those files were equally in the hands of the auditing team.
The general view amongst most House Committee members who investigated the affairs of the NDDC, the Port Harcourt Telegraph has learnt, is that Akpabio employed a strategy designed to play Nigerians against the National Assembly.
A member had accused Akpabio of misleading Nigerians,a charge that the Minister did not accept even as he parried attempts to get him to name Tunji-Ojo directly if he had such proof.
Already, the Minister’s allegation against federal lawmakers is resonating among the Nigerian people. All of a sudden, it has become a major talking point.
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