The Speaker of House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has reacted to the failure of the Minister of Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio, to provide the list of honorable members who form 60% of contract beneficiaries from the NDDC.
Gbajabiamila, in a statement on Twitter, said having occupied all leadership positions of the House, he will not sit to watch the anyone assassinate the House’s character.
To this effect, the Speaker announced that he has instructed the Clerk of the House to, with the aid of legal counsels, institute legal proceedings against the minister, on a criminal complaint of perjury.
“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).
“I have held every @HouseNGR leadership position from Minority Whip, to Minority Leader, Leader of the House (Majority Leader) and now Speaker. I recognise that the House has not always lived up to the high expectations of the Nigerian people.
“As much as we still have a lot to do in that regard, I refuse to sit here in good conscience and allow anyone to assassinate the character of the House in an attempt to deflect accountability for their conduct in office.
“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,” it read in full.