The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, says the House will engage the services of a team of legal counsel to initiate a criminal complaint of perjury against the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Godswill Akpabio, for alleging that over sixty percent of the NDDC contracts were being handled by members of the National Assembly.

Gbajabiamila in a statement on Thursday said the legal action became necessary due to the inability of Akpabio to substantiate his allegation and to save the image of the House before Nigerians.

The Speaker had on Tuesday issued a 48-hour ultimatum to Akpabio to show proof that, “over 60% (sixty per cent) of contracts awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) went to members of the National Assembly.”

He said, “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 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. Such mendacity as was witnessed at the public hearing will not be tolerated from anybody no matter how highly placed.

“This morning, I asked the Clerk of the House of Representatives 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 against the Minister.

“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. This House will live up to the highest expectations of the Nigerian people. This is our commitment, and we will not fail,” Gbajabiamila stated.


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