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I never said members of 9th NASS are beneficiaries of NDDC contracts- Akpabio

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Minister of Niger Delta, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has denied referring to members of the Ahmed Lawan led 9th National Assembly as beneficiaries of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) contracts.

“I never referred to members of the 9th House of Representatives as beneficiaries of NDDC contracts as the NDDC is yet to fully implement any NDDC budget since the commencement of the 9th National Assembly,” Akpabio said in a correspondence to the lawmaker.

“As a former minority leader of the 8th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I shall forever hold the ideals of the National Assembly and will not make the entire document public which I got from the lead forensic auditor in confidence.”

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Akpabio’s denial came barely two hours after Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila expressed the resolve by the House to drag him to court over committal of perjury.

The minister’s latest position was read at plenary by Speaker Gbajabiamila.

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Akpabio who recalled his stint in the National Assembly as Senate Minority leader in the 8th Assembly said he must have been misquoted out of context on the issue.

As to the reference to 60 percent of contracts, the investigative committee refused to give me the opportunity to explain that; I was responding to a question by a member of the committee.

“Permit me to explain that any reference to 60 percent during the investigative hearing was in answer to a question by a member of the committee as to whether or not, a medical doctor could act as Executive Director project which I answered in affirmative,” Akpabio said.

“That the greatest project in the world today is COVID-19, which is medical in nature; furthermore, I am made to understand that 60 percent of NDDC yearly budget are medical in nature, therefore is better for a medical doctor to serve as the [NDDC’s] executive director of projects.”

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