OrderPaperToday – A member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Nicholas Mutu (Delta, PDP), has dismissed allegations against him by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, that he got juicy contracts from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Mutu made this clarification in a statement made available to the OrderPaperNG on Monday.
The longest-serving taciturn legislator
, who is the immediate past chairman of the House Committee on NDDC, also denied influencing the award of contracts.
According to him, “the responsibility for contract award is that of the Executive arm of government and in this case, the Board and Management of the Niger-Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
“During my time as the Chairman of the NDDC, I did not participate in the process of contract awards in the commission and had no influence over the process as the bulk rest squarely with the Commission.
“I am not an NDDC contractor, neither has any company owned by me been awarded any contract by the NDDC.”
Mr. Mutu, who had a low profile performance
in the 8th assembly, urged “members of the public to disregard the said publications.”
Recall that Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Godswill Akpabio, had picked up the gauntlet thrown by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, to name lawmakers who he alleged got contracts
from the NDDC.
The minister, in a document attached to his response to the threat by the House of Representatives to sue him over the allegations, listed four senators as receiving contracts from the commission between 2017 to date.
Others are senator James Manager and Peter Nwaboshi and both lawmakers are from Delta State.
Meanwhile, Mutu was also named by the minister as receiving 74 contracts – the highest among the listed lawmakers.
He also accused the current Chairman of the House Committee on NDDC, Mr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo (APC, Ondo) of inserting 19 contracts worth N9 billion into 2019 NDDC budget.
House of Representatives Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, had last week given Akpabio a 48-hour ultimatum to identify lawmakers that are NDDC contractors as he alleged during his testimony before the House Committee on NDDC.
However, a few hours after the expiration of the ultimatum, Gbajabiamila had signified the House’s readiness to head to court to seek the prosecution of the minister for criminal defamation.