The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, has linked former governors of Delta State, James Ibori and Emmanuel Uduaghan to the contracts awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Also on the list as a beneficiary of projects were the Senate Chief Whip, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, and Senator Ifeanyi Ararume, among others.
Akpabio in a letter sent to the speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, listed the former governors as some of the beneficiaries of the projects by the commission.
The letter was titled, ‘Some Niger Delta Development Commission Contracts Allegedly Given to Some Members of the National Assembly (Senate and House of Representatives).’
According to the document forwarded to the Speaker by Akpabio, one of the projects linked to them was awarded in 2018 at a cost which ranges from N400m and N560m each.
Meanwhile, one of the projects linked to James Ibori by the former Governor of Akwa Ibom state was the emergency repairs of Onoghove community road from Ajanesan to Western Delta University at a cost of N485.7m.
Uduaghan on the other hand, was linked to the emergency repairs of Close B, Alhaji Estate & Environs, Rumuodomaya, Port Harcourt at a cost of N429m.
Like Uduaghan, five projects were linked to Kalu, who was simply identified in the document as OUK-Kalu (the project source).
The emergency repairs on roads projects linked to Kalu are in Abia State and the costs ranged from N517m to N560m. The details are Emergency repairs of Ezere-Acha-Ndiokoukwu Road (N517.9m) and repairs of Amaubiri-Eluama-Uru Ring Road, Lokpaukwu, Umuchieze (N560m).
Others linked to Senator Kalu are Ndi Oji Abam-Atan Road (N523.7m), Okafia-Ozuitem-Bende road (508m), and the Ozu-Amuru-Abam Road at the cost of N523.4m.
On the other hand, the cost of the 12 projects linked to Senator Ifeanyi Ararume, located in Imo and Rivers states, were not indicated in the documents.
During a House committee hearing on July 20, 2020, Akpabio had disclosed that lawmakers are the biggest beneficiaries of the corruption that has become the story of the NDDC.
However, on Tuesday, July 21, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, gave the Minister 48 hours to release the names of the lawmakers in question or face punitive measures.
After the two-day ultimatum had expired, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, directed the clerk of the House to institute a lawsuit against Akpabio after he failed to release the names of the National Assemblies members that have been awarded contracts by NDDC.
Akpabio in a letter that was later read on the floor of the House of Representatives by the Speaker, denied saying 60% of the contracts were awarded to lawmakers. He has however penned down some names of some Nigerians who have been awarded contracts by the commission.