Fred Itua, Abuja and Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Forty–eight hours after the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, named some senators and members of the House of Representatives involved in Niger Delta Development Commission’s (NDDC) alleged contract racketeering, a lawmaker has threatened to seek legal redress.
According to Akpabio, Chairman of the Senate committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Peter Nwaoboshi, got paid for 53 unexecuted projects. He also named James Manager who headed the same committee in previous Assemblies and former Ethics Committee Chairman in the eithth Senate, Samuel Anyanwu as beneficiaries.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja, yesterday, Anyanwu said he had already put lawmakers on notice of his intention to approach a court to seek redress over what he described as “defamation of character.”
He said Akpabio must prove beyond doubts that he siphoned funds earmarked for execution of NDDC contracts.
“I have been calling Akpabio and he has not been picking up my calls. I wanted to personally hear from him before addressing the media. What he said were false and Nigerians should not take it seriously. I have met with my lawyers. I have instructed them to write to Akpabio to withdraw those claims and tender an apology. If he fails to do that, I’ll take the necessary steps and institute an action against him. My name has been maligned and this is unfair. Even the projects they’re referring to in my senatorial district have not been funded till date. How can they accuse me like that?”
Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, who was also accused alongside Anyanwu by Akpabio also described it as false and having no bearing with the truth.
In the same vein, James Manager denied that NDDC ever awarded any contract to any company owned by him.
“Those who are alleging to defame me must be aware of the consequences. In the interest of the gullible innocent public, the authors led by the said Dr. Cairo Ojugboh or any other person should provide some things.”