The Upper Chamber has threatened to issue warrant for the arrest of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, and the Sole Administrator of Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Mr. Effiong Akwa if they failed to honor the invitation of the Federal Lawmakers.
The senate had summoned the duo over non-payment of N2.2 billion contract.
The Senate also directed that Akpabio and Akwa must appear before its committee unfailingly on April 12, 2022.
The Senate issued the summons through the Senator Ayo Akinyelure (PDP Ondo Central) led Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions.
Briefing newsmen yesterday in Abuja, Akinyelure explained that the committee had written several letters of invitation to Akpabio and Akwa on petitions against them without any response, let alone honouring the invitation.
He said Akpabio and Akwa have been unanimous in administering the NDDC, an agency of government the way they like, hence, there were plethora of petitions against them for refusing to pay contractors, who executed projects for the commission to the tune of N72 billion.
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 Akwa chose to embarrass the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government, even as contractors keep protesting and lamenting all the time.
Akinyelure who expressed frustration at the conduct of the two senior officials of government, said his committee had only four weeks to submit report to the Committee of the Whole.
He said: “Akpabio was a senator and as a former colleague, he ought not to disrespect the Senate Committee in the manner he is doing. 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 the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs is concerned, breakdown in communication must have caused his non – appearance before the committee because as a senator, he should know the implication of that.”
According to him, the summon is against the backdrop of petitions against Akpabio and NDDC Administrator by Akom Survey Services Limited over alleged non – payment of fees for survey carried out in the nine Niger Delta states based on N2.2billion contractual agreement with NDDC.
He said the petitioners were seven and from different companies, and they lamented in their petitions that non – payment for the services rendered was pushing them into insolvency arising from unbearable Interests on loans secured from the banks.