The House of Representatives on Thursday threatened to sue the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, over his claim that major beneficiaries of contracts awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) were given to members of the House.
While appearing before the House Committee on NDDC, Akpabio had made the claims.
On Tuesday during plenary, the House challenged Akpabio to publish the names of the beneficiaries.
Speaking on Thursday, Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House said the House will take legal action through civil proceedings against Akpabio for his allegations against members of the House which he failed to substantiate.
His words: “Last Tuesday, I issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs to substantiate his allegation that over 60% (sixty per cent) of contracts awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) went to members of the @nassnigeria
“I said then that the Honourable Minister owed it to himself and the country to provide evidence to support these serious allegations. The Honourable Minister has failed to respond to my request.
“Therefore, I must conclude that his statement intended solely to gaslight the nation to avoid accountability for the evident maladministration and malfeasance in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
“This morning, I asked the Clerk of @HouseNGR to engage the services of legal counsel, and instruct them to initiate a criminal complaint of perjury against the Minister. At the same time, we will instruct counsel to explore the possibility of a civil defamation suit.
“The House of Representatives is a public trust placed in our care for the duration of our term in office. We must prove ourselves worthy of this public trust or risk the censure of history.
“Therefore, we will resist every attempt to undermine this institution, whether such attempts come from within or from outside. @HouseNGR will live up to the highest expectations of the Nigerian people. This is our commitment, and we will not fail.”
The House of Representatives is a public trust placed in our care for the duration of our term in office. We must prove ourselves worthy of this public trust or risk the censure of history.
— Femi Gbajabiamila (@femigbaja) July 23, 2020