Senate threatens Akpabio, NDDC boss with arrest over alleged non-payment of N2.2b contract
The Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions has threatened to issue warrant against Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio and Sole Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Effiong Okon Akwa over alleged non-payment of N2.2 billion contract.
The duo, the chairman, Senator Ayo Akinyelure, insisted must appear before the committee unfailingly on April 12, by 2:00pm.
Akinyelure, who briefed the press on the summons, restated that the panel had written several letters to the pair over petitions against them without any response, let alone honouring their invitations.
He warned: “It shouldn’t be business as usual. Akpabio and the NDDC Sole Administrator must appear before the Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions Committee, failure of which will lead to issuance of warrant of arrest on them.
“The committee wants to believe that as far as the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs is concerned, a breakdown in communication must have caused his non-appearance because as a senator, he should know the implication of that.”
The chairman added: “This press briefing is being done to solve the perceived communication breakdown between the committee and his office. If our letters are not delivered to him, he will read and hear about the invitation in the media.”
The summons, he explained, is hinged on petitions filed against Akpabio and Akwa by Akom Survey Services Limited over alleged non-payment of fees for survey carried out in the nine Niger Delta States based on N2.2 billion contractual agreement with the NDDC.
Akinyelure said the petitioners, totalling seven different companies, lamented in their petitions that “non-payment for the services rendered is pushing them into insolvency arising from unbearable interests on loans secured from banks.”
He went on: “Aside the N2.2 billion contract yet to be paid to the seven companies by NDDC, there is an outstanding of N6.25 billion contracts yet to be paid to affected companies and N2.5 billion job racketeering scandal.
“Petitions on all these against the NDDC and by extension, the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, are before the committee, which must be thoroughly investigated as mandated by the Senate.”