Two members of the Senate have denied the allegations of benefitting from contracts of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The Senate Committee Chairman on Niger Delta, Peter Nwaoboshi, and his colleague from Delta South district, Senator James Manager, denied the accusations on Monday in separate statements.
This followed claims by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, that 60 per cent of NNDC contracts were awarded to members of the National Assembly.
In his reaction, Nwaoboshi who was allegedly named in the said publication of being awarded 53 NDDC projects, challenged Akpabio to send the list to the anti-graft and other security agencies if he could prove the allegation.
He described the claim as unsubstantiated and accused the minister of having an agenda to continuously blackmail him.
According to the lawmaker, this is aimed at diverting public attention away from the serious mismanagement of the NDDC allegedly by the Interim Management Committee (IMC) under his supervision and under the guise of a phantom forensic audit that has no operating timeline.
On his part, Manager maintained that he does not know of any company owned by him that has ever gone into bidding of government jobs anywhere in the world.
He also challenged his accusers to provide a detailed description of the said contracts, names of the companies, and the beneficiaries of the payments.
“Those who are alleging to defame me must be aware of the consequences,” the lawmaker warned.
The allegation by the minister had sparked outrage on the part of the lawmakers who dared him to mention the names of those who benefitted from the said contracts.
In an interview with journalists, the House of Representatives Committee Chairman on Media Affairs and Publicity, Benjamin Kalu, had dissociated members of the lower chamber of the National Assembly from the allegation.
He explained that the minister wrote to the House and clarified that members of the 9th Assembly were not among those he was referring to.