OrderPaperToday – Senator Samuel Anyanwu who represented Imo East senatorial district in the 8th assembly has stated that he was both shocked and hurt when he was listed as one of the beneficiaries of contracts award in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, stirred the hornet’s nest when named some federal lawmakers, past and serving, who got contracts in the Commission.
Anyanwu was allegedly given 16 contracts according to a letter from Akpabio addressed to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, who had earlier issued an ultimatum for him to provide the names.
But in a press briefing on Tuesday, Anyanwu denied receiving such contracts.
He said: “Because I am a politician, and a prominent one for that matter, in my state and Nigeria, I choose to clear the air on the so-called allegation that I benefited from contracts by NDDC. First I was shocked to hear my name, very shocked that honourable minister of Niger Delta could mention my name that I was awarded contracts.
“First of all I am from Imo state, Imo state is one of the oil producing states and a member of NDDC; if you remember, it was because of the suffering of the south-east that I moved and sponsored the bill for South-East Development Commission and I was a member of committee on NDDC. The current minister of Niger Delta affairs was also a member and was the minority leader of the senate.
“As a member of the committee on NDDC, I attracted projects to my constituency, no contract was ever awarded to me, the beneficiaries of these contracts are my people that I represent, Imo east who are members of the Niger Delta and I challenge the honourable minister and NDDC to go through their records if there was any contract awarded to me or any dime traceable to me.
“So it is disheartening, so as politicians you have political enemies who would act on these to work against you and that is why I feel very very hurt on this issue and I felt I had to clear the air and so you hear my side of the story.”
The former lawmaker also said the constituency projects he nominated while he was in the red chamber have been stalled because of non-payment of mobilisation fee to contractors.
“Some of those projects that I attracted to my constituency, I had complaints, from even the contractors that NDDC has not paid them even a dime and I have it on good authority that NDDC do not pay mobilisation for contracts.
“I am using this medium to call on NDDC to go to my constituency and complete the projects they have started”, he said.
Anyanwu also dared Akpabio to give full disclosure of his allegation noting that he had tried reaching the latter via calls to clarify the issue.
“It was only three names I saw, senator Matthew Urhoghide, chairman of the committee, James Manager and we were about 18 members in that committee. Even James Manager was not even a member of the committee.
“If they are issues, I feel the honourable minister is educated enough, please let us see the projects, the contracts, name of the companies, the bank where the money was paid, CAC is there, why do you have to insult people like that?
“I am no longer in the senate, almost two years, I have left and managing my quiet life and watching what Nigeria will turn out to be. So if you have issues with the national assembly members, which I understand since he became a minister he has, that has nothing to do with me.
“Before we left, our position with Saraki that is part of the things we are suffering today. That’s the truth. I’m the only one not in the senate why mention my name when I have nothing to do with it, I felt very very hurt.
“I tried calling him a couple of times, he has never taken my calls. I chose to confront him first before going to the press. By tomorrow or next tomorrow, my lawyers are going to write to Akpabio to retract it or give us the facts after which if he doesn’t do anything about this I will take the next step”, he added.