The Nigerian Senate on Wednesday threatened to issue a warrant of arrest against the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio for severally snubbing the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions.
Another official risking a warrant of arrest is the sole administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr Akwa Effiong for snubbing the Senate Committee’s invitation.
Chairman of Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, Ayo Akinyelure at a press briefing on Wednesday disclosed that the Minister and the Sole Administrator have been unanimous in administering the NDDC, an agency of government the way they like, hence, there were a plethora of petitions against them for refusing to pay contractors who executed projects for the Commission to the tune of N72 billion.
The petitions which were referred to the Committee by the Senate Committee of the whole were being treated, but, disappointedly, Godswill Akpabio and the Sole Administrator who are in a position to offer explanation have been undermining the Committee’s work.
Akinyelure confirmed to journalists that appropriations have been made yearly for contractors who executed projects across the Niger Delta States to be paid, wondering what might have happened, that Akpabio and the Sole Administrator chose to embarrass the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government, even as contractors keep protesting and lamenting all the time.
He expressed frustration at the conduct of the two senior officials of government, saying his Committee has only four weeks to submit a report to the committee of the whole.
He said, “Godswill Akpabio was a Senator and as a former colleague, he ought not to disrespect the Senate Committee in the manner he is doing.
The contractors have executed projects to the tune of N72 billion and they have their evidence, so it’s up to Godswill Akpabio and the Sole Administrator to come and explain why the contractors have not been paid despite yearly appropriations”, Senator Akinyelure said.
The lawmaker further called on President Muhammadu Buhari to constitute the Board without delay so as to remove one man’s overbearing influence.