Peter Nwaoboshi, chairman of the senate committee on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), says he did not get any contract from the commission.
Godswill Akpabio, minister of Niger Delta affairs, had named him as one of the beneficiaries of contracts awarded by the commission.
While appearing before a probe panel of the house of representatives, Akpabio had said the federal lawmakers were the biggest beneficiaries of NDDC contracts.
Subsequently, Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house of representatives, gave the minister 48 hours to unveil the identities of the lawmakers who got contracts.
In a statement on Monday, Nwaoboshi asked the minister and the interim management committee (IMC) to focus their energy on explaining to Nigerians how they “spent a whopping N81.5 billion within a period of five months”.
“Mr Akpabio alleged that I was awarded contracts for 53 NDDC projects. I wish to state unequivocally that this allegation has no bearing with the truth and challenge Mr Akpabio to send so-called list to anti graft and other security agencies if he can substantiate the apparently baseless allegation,” he senator said.
“Indeed I would have made further comments but for the fact that the matter is currently before two competent courts of law.
“However, suffice it to say that this unsubstantiated allegation is in line with Mr Akpabio’s well known agenda to continuously blackmail me so as to keep diverting public attention away from the serious mismanagement of the NDDC by the Interim Management Committee (IMC) under his supervision and under the guise of a phantom forensic audit that has no operating time line.”
Speaking with TheCable later, Nwaoboshi said the forensic audit of the commission’s finances ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari since October has not commenced.
“The forensic audit is not going on, that is the truth as we talk today, I’m the chairman of the committee, they have not even appointed… they said they appointed a lead consultant,” he said.
“That is the evidence we have in our report, that means they are going to appoint other consultants, other forensic auditors, that they have not done so as I am talking to you now… What is the function of the lead consultant? It is somebody who is going to assemble a team, according to what they told us, they are going to have people state by state.”
The senator said the commission should be put under the presidency for effective management.
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