On Tuesday, Benjamin Kalu, spokesman of the house of reps, reacted to the letter Godswill Akpabio, minister of Niger Delta affairs, sent to the lower legislative chamber on the alleged beneficiaries of contracts at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Akpabio had sent the letter in response to the ultimatum given by Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house of reps.
While appearing before a panel investigating alleged mismanagement of funds by the interim management committee (IMC) of the NDDC, Akpabio had accused the lawmakers of getting 60 percent of the contracts awarded by the commission.
In response, Gbajabiamila had issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the minister, asking him to list all those who benefitted from the contracts as alleged by Akpabio, or face legal action.
Akpabio, thereafter, sent a letter, which was read by the speaker on July 23, in which he claimed that he was misunderstood, but still listed some lawmakers who had got contracts.
In a statement in response to the minister’s letter, the reps spokesman accused Akpabio of addressing a personal letter to the speaker instead of responding to the house on publishing the names of lawmakers who benefitted from the contracts.
“Instead of publishing the list for the world to see in the interest of transparency, the Minister in his usual diversionary tactics, chose to send an irrelevant 8-paragraph private letter to the Speaker regarding projects of 2018 which pre-date the 9th House of Representatives and had little to do with the bogus claims he made,” Kalu said in a statement.
However, a copy of the letter which was seen by TheCable showed that Akpabio addressed the letter, dated July 23, to the clerk of the house and not Gbajabiamila.
Meanwhile, the reps have insisted that the minister must publish a full list in line with his accusations.
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