The House of Representatives had dragged the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, to court over his inability to show proof that its members were beneficiaries of contracts awards fro the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
KanyiDaily recalls that while the House Committee were probing financial misappropriation in the NDDC on Monday, Akpabio alleged that over 60 percent of contracts of the commission are given out to members of the National Assembly.
Reacting to Akpabio’s comment, Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila had gaven the minister 48-hour ultimatum to name the lawmakers that benefitted from the contracts.
At the expiration of the 48-hour ultimatum, Gbajabiamila, who spoke at the commencement of the plenary on Thursday, disclosed that he had instructed the Clerk to engage lawyers to file the suit against Akpabio after he failed to heed to the House request to publish the list of members who got contracts from the NDDC.
“As much as we still have a lot to do in that regard, I refuse to sit here in good conscience and allow anyone to assassinate the character of the House in an attempt to deflect accountability for their conduct in office.
“This morning, I asked the Clerk of @HouseNGR to engage the services of legal counsel, and instruct them to initiate a criminal complaint of perjury against the minister. At the same time, we will instruct counsel to explore the possibility of a civil defamation suit.
“The House of Representatives is a public trust placed in our care for the duration of our term in office. We must prove ourselves worthy of this public trust or risk the censure of history.
“Therefore, we will resist every attempt to undermine this institution, whether such attempts come from within or from outside. @HouseNGR will live up to the highest expectations of the Nigerian people. This is our commitment, and we will not fail,” Gbajabiamila said.
KanyiDaily recalls that Godswill Akpabio was also accused of squandering the sum of N300 million given to him for fence construction contract by the NDDC.