The letter from Niger Delta Affairs Minister, Godswill Akpabio, which conveyed the list of National Assembly members who allegedly got bloated and unexecuted contracts from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has been released to the public.
The National Youth Council of Nigeria which presented the document to the media in Abuja on Sunday expressed disappointment that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, allegedly refused to disclose the names of federal lawmakers who benefitted from the contracts awarded by the NDDC.
President of the youth council, Solomon Adodo, stated:
Mr. Speaker did not do us justice when he did not disclose to the National Assembly that the list of the beneficiaries he demanded had been attached to the letter sent to him.
According to the council, Gbajabiamila’s decision to cover up his colleagues is unfair to the fight against corruption, quest for transparency, and to the commonwealth of our nation.
We, therefore, urge Gbajabiamila to resign for covering up for a set of people who had erred and breached the rules of contract.
All the National Assembly members who benefitted from the contracts without executing them should be prosecuted to serve as deterrent to those who may want to follow a similar path.
It is a clear case of organised crime to have individuals who benefitted from illegality now rising to probe the fact that their illegality is being exposed.
We call on all the anti-graft agencies and security agencies to, in line with the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari, immediately investigate the matter.
The council said that they were firmly in support of the forensic audit instituted by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs because it had exposed those who had benefitted in the corruption that had festered in the NDDC
In the document displayed by the youths council, Akpabio was quoted as said:
The investigating committee on NDDC refused and/or neglected to give me the opportunity to explain that reference to most commission contracts yearly being allegedly awarded since 2001 from the records to members of the National Assembly in both chambers were done without the knowledge of the alleged beneficiaries.
However, the two chairmen of the committees in both chambers had adequate knowledge.
The minister’s letter, as released by the youth council, further reads:
To show you some typical examples, herewith attached are documents showing nature of contracts, amount of such contracts (in some cases), date of awards and beneficiaries. Some were awarded to the two chairmen of both committees in the House of Representatives and the Senate, serving at the period of the awards (Annexures ‘B’, ‘C’ and ‘D’).
The council, which declared it got the document from the National Assembly, however, said Akpabio failed to make the document public because he obtained it from the forensic auditors in confidence.
The contracts were mainly for road construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation within the nine Niger Delta states. Names of a few serving senators and members of the House of Representatives were among those contained in the document, while others were names of persons who had served in the two chambers of the National Assembly in the past.