By our reporter| The house of representatives on Thursday resolved to institute a legal suit against the minister of Niger Delta Affairs, for failing to name lawmakers who got contracts from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), after its 24-hour ultimatum expired.
Akpabio on Monday while appearing before the house panel probing NDDC operations, had alleged that most of the contracts awarded by the commission went to federal lawmakers.
The following day, house speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, gave the minister 48 hours to name the lawmakers or face “the wrath of the house”.
Following the failure of the minister to name the lawmakers, Gbajabiamila while speaking on the floor of the house, said nobody will be allowed to “assassinate the character of the house”.
He said, “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.”
Akpabio had sent a letter to the house noting that he never accused the 9th assembly of benefiting from NDDC contracts but insisted that the two committee chairmen probing the commission know the lawmakers that benefited from NDDC contracts.