Fear In NASS As Speaker Gives Akpabio Ultimatum

Tension was enveloping the National Assembly on Tuesday after Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila gave the minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswil Akpabio a 48-hour deadline to name members who got contracts from the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.

Speaking on the floor of the House of Representatives on Tuesday, Speaker Gbajabiamila said he had never gotten a contract since he came to the House in 2003.

Akpabio had at the public hearing on the Niger Delta on Monday said that many legislators were involved in contract racketeering in the NDDC. He, however, did not list names.

“This is my 5th term here and I have never for once collected anything from the National Assembly and I know I speak for a great majority of members of this House, a great majority. And because of that, I will take this allegation and accusation very seriously.

“And I will give the minister (Akpabio) 24 to 48 hours. Clerk, I want you to back this up with a letter from this House. Give the minister 24 to 48 hours to publish the names, the contracts so given, the dates because obviously these things will be documented; unveil the companies of the 60 per cent projects that were given to members of the National Assembly.”

Though many lawmakers publicly clapped, sources in the House of Representatives told GWG that a number of the lawmakers were also silently in pains over the possible spilling of the beans.

One of the lawmakers is presently undergoing trial for brokering contracts.

It was learnt that Akpabio’s assertion was not completely a bluff as some transactions had happened with some of the lawmakers even if not with all of them.

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“This thing may consume Gbaja as not many lawmakers are supportive of his threat against Akpabio and you know of the one that is undergoing trial,” he said.

(C) GWG

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