Members of the House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission during a probing session on Monday, accused Godswill Akpabio, the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs of misleading the parliament and the public and also, lying under oath.
Akpabio has not been forth coming on the truth about funds that were misspent and mismanaged. He took an oath before the investigative hearing and yet, afterwards it was discovered that he did not sign the oath.
When asked by Kolade Akinjo, a member of the sitting committee, to reconcile how someone who is a medical doctor sits as an Executive Director of Project, in line with the NDDC Act that says “the director shall have such qualification and experience as appropriate of a person required to perform a function of those offices under this Act”, Akpabio responded by saying:
“You are asking the qualification for the office of the Executive Director; I agree with you but, that person should be someone who is vast in project execution. The greatest project today in the world, is medical, and that is Covid-19.”
The audience reacted to that including Hon. Boma Goodhead, member of the House Committee who asked Akpabio if there was Covid-19 when the Executive Director was appointed; he then asked the chairman to be protected.
“60% of the budget of NDDC every year is medical and you also have to know that malaria has killed more children in Nigeria than even accident or any other thing, even before the coming of the covid… So who will best fit the position of the executive director than a medical doctor to go and implement the 60% of the budget.” says Akpabio.
He also said that there are records to show that most of the contracts in NDDC are given to members of the National Assembly.
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More so, Hon. Thomas Ereyi-Tobi, who is presiding over the hearing, accused Akpabio of lying under oath while testifying before the panel.
He said, “I have listened attentively through all your submissions but I just want to tell you one thing, you came here to mislead the parliament and you are under oath. That is what you have done deliberately.
“You decided to just come here and mislead the parliament. I want to put it to you that your submission and all the annexures, 8,9,10 and 11 are misleading.
“Before then, you said you have nothing linking you to any contract in the NDDC, that your job is just to supervise but correspondences show you have been given approval of forensic auditor and contracts.”
Acting Managing Director of NDDC, Daniel Pondei, had earlier fainted while he was being questioned by the same committee.
Video Credit: Channels TV.