Godswill Akpabio, the minister of Niger Delta Affairs, recently said that most contracts from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) were awarded to National Assembly members.
The minister made the allegation as he was being grilled by members of the House of Representatives committee on NDDC in a public hearing.
The minister's allegation set the social media "ablaze" as many Nigerians lambasted the lawmakers for allegedly being part of the massive corruption in the NDDC which, ironically they are probing.
Following Akpabio's statement, the speaker of the House of Reps, Femi Gbajabiamila, ordered him to publish names of federal lawmakers fingered in shoddy NDDC contracts.
Thus, Legit.ng asked Nigerians via an online poll if they agree with Gbajabiamila that the Niger Delta minister should publish the names of the lawmakers who allegedly benefitted from NDDC contracts.
The speaker said the integrity of the House has been brought into disrepute with the allegation, hence calling for the names of the indicted lawmakers to be mentioned.
Out of over 2,000 people who participated in the poll on Facebook, 96% agreed that Akpabio should publish the names of the lawmakers while only four percent disagreed.
The situation is similar on Twitter. Over 500 people participated in the poll; 92% want Akpabio to publish the names while 3.7% disagreed.
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Meanwhile, Senator Akpabio has denied saying 60% of lawmakers benefitted from the NDDC contracts. He said his statement was misunderstood.
In a letter read by Gbajabiamila on Thursday, July 23, Akpabio said the house panel probing the alleged mismanagement of N81.5 billion in the commission did not give him the opportunity to clarify his statement.
“I never referred to members of the ninth national assembly as beneficiaries of NDDC contracts as NDDC is yet to fully implement any NDDC budget since the commencement of the ninth national assembly," the minister said.
Akpabio's clarification came shortly after Gbajabiamila ordered the clerk to go ahead with instituting the suit against him after failing to release the names of lawmakers who allegedly benefitted from the NDDC contracts.
Gbajabiamila had made it clear that no one will be allowed to “assassinate the character of the house”.
It is not yet clear whether or not the House will still sue the minister after his clarification.
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