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Just In: Reps vs Akpabio: You Have 48 hrs to name members who got NDDC contracts – Reps

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The House of Representatives has asked Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, to publish, within 48 hours, members of the 9th National Assembly who got sixty percent of contracts from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The minister had alleged during Monday’s investigative hearing held to probe the allegations of corruption in the NDDC that 60 percent of the contracts of the commission were given out to members of the National Assembly.

But ruling on a matter of privileges brought by Minority leader, Ndudi Elumelu on Tuesday, Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila said the Minister should publish the benefiting lawmakers, especially members of the 9th Assembly.

He further said the names of their companies and the contracts they got should be published or face the wrath of the House.

Although he said his initial reaction was to have a good laugh when the Minister made the allegations, he realized it infringes on the integrity of the House.

He said the Minister owes it a duty to himself, the House Committee on Niger Delta, the people of Niger Delta, and Nigerians to publish the names of lawmakers who got contracts from the NDDC.

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Just In: UNILAG Governing Council Sacks Vice Chancellor Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe

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The Governing Council of the University of Lagos, UNILAG, on Wednesday removed Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe as the vice-chancellor of the institution.

Professor Ogundipe was removed following the council’s meeting held at the headquarters of the National Universities Commission, Abuja.

The meeting was presided over by its Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Dr. Wale Babalakin (SAN).

READ ALSO: Lagos Poorly Represented In Federal Controlled Public Institutions– Sanwo-Olu

11 of the 12 council members at the meeting were said to have voted for the removal of Prof. Ogundipe.

He was accused of financial impropriety and gross misconduct.

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WE ARE WITH YOU ON THIS JOURNEY, SPEAKER OBASA’S LAW SCHOOL COLLEAGUES SAY.

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The Nigerian Law School, Victoria Island, Lagos colleagues of Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa, Speaker, Lagos House of Assembly, has promised to support him in his political journey as well as constantly set the record straight where necessary. The lawyers made the promise when they paid the Speaker a solidarity visit on Tuesday, August 11, 2020, at his Lagos House of Assembly office. The lawyers lamented the damage fake and unverified news has done to Nigerians. They said the solidarity visit, apart from standing with him, was an opportunity to confirm that Obasa, graduated from Law School against claims by an online medium, Sahara Reporters. They presented to the Speaker copies of Nigerian Law School Year Book – 2008-2009 which contains names and pictures of members of that year set including that of the Speaker which was on page 214. Obasa thanked the lawyers for the visit and told them he was unperturbed by the fake stories.

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NDDC: Pondei lists contracts allegedly paid under ‘duress’ to get budget approval

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The Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Prof. Kemebradikumo Daniel Pondei, weekend, listed some of the contracts the Commission was allegedly coerced to pay by the National Assembly before its 2019 annual budget could be harmonized.
He alleged further that some Lawmakers, especially members of adhoc Committees held the Commission hostage over the years with the annual budget approval.

According to him, most of the contracts they were arm-twisted to pay, “were never done or sometimes, never completed.”
Pondei in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Edgar Ebigoni, listed the contracts and benefitting firms to include; Kith Global Ventures Ltd; Remedial Works at New Ogorode Roads Lot 3, at the cost of N493,684,169.00 and paid on the 17/03/2020, 301 Constr. Ltd; Remedial Works at Nja Road to Akoku Uno Lot 1, at the cost of N350,027,919.80 and paid on the 17/03/2020. Cracked Stone Constr. Ltd; Remedial Works at Ajaolubeti Road Environs Lot 2 at the cost of N394,010,952.10 and paid on the 17/03/2020. Collincrystal Energy Ltd; Emergency at Benin Township Road Lot 7, at the cost of N 431,053.035.20 and paid on the 17/03/2020. Collincrystal Energy Ltd; Emergency at Benin Township Road Lot 3, at the cost of N361,357,276.20 and paid on the 17/03/2020 and Grapik Ltd; Emergency at Umudee Internal Road, at the cost of N207,673,107.70 and paid the 17/03/2020.
Others were, Southland Constr. Ltd; Remedial Works at Umuduru Chukwu Umuorlu Road, at the cost of N518,409,089.30 and paid on paid on the17/03/2020. Southland Constr. Ltd; Remedial Works at Umuduru, at the cost of N519,949,949.10 and paid on the 17/03/2020.
Grandfox Global Services Ltd; Emergency at Ope Road Okigwe LGA, at the cost of N580,438,578.00 and paid on the 17/03/2020. Collincrystal Energy Ltd; Emergency at Benin Town Road Lot 6, at the cost of N348,853,184.60 and paid on the 7/03/2020 and Crism Constr. Building Ltd; Emergency at Eziama Osuama International Roads Isiala Mbano LGA, at the cost of N561,592,377.80 and paid on the17/03/2020.
Also paid were, Argento Ltd; Emergency at Benin Township Road Lot 4, at the cost of N382,805,411.60 and paid on the 18/03/2020. Two Rocks Cont. Ltd; Remedial Works at New Ogorode Road Lot 4, N500,875,848.00 and paid on the 18/03/2020. Elkan Zibson Ltd; Emergency Repairs of failed and unmotorable sections of Ezumoha Internal Roads Isiala Mbano LGA, at the cost of N531,150,414.29 and paid on the 19/03/2020. Cracked Stone Constr. Ltd; Remedial works on Failed and Unmotorable sections of Benin Township Road Lot 8, at the cost of N417,806,787.01 and paid on the 19/03/2020. PDH Global Logistics Ltd; Emergency Repairs of Failed and Unmotorable sections of Umuezuo Umuagbavu Road Remedy Failed and unmotorable sections of Chikwe Orlu Street Environment, at the cost of N543,247,587.35 and paid on the 20/03/2020. Aritel Oil and Gas; Remedy Failed and Motorable sections of Chikwe Orlu Street Environment, at the cost of N550,100,132.34 and paid on the 24/03/202.
Dis Concept and Solutions Ltd; Urgently Remedy Failed and Un motorable sections of Jessy and Jenny Road off peter Odily Road PHC, at the cost of N476,794,367.22 and paid on the 26/03/2020. Ogugo Concept and Solutions Ltd; Emergency Repairs of Failed and Unmotorable sections of Environs Yenagoa LGA, at the cost of N300,029,695.14 and paid on the 26/03/2020. Webster Global ventures Ltd; Instruction of emergency Repairs of failed and unmotorable sections Benin Township Road Lot 2 Oredo LGA, at the cost of N357,242,054.35 and paid on the 26/03/2020. Webster Global ventures Ltd; Remedial Works of Failed and unmotorable sections of Akuku Illah Road Oshimili North LGA, at the cost of N 463,489,890.13 and paid on the 26/03/2020 and Webster Global ventures Ltd; Remedial Works of failed and Unmotorable sections of New Ogorode Road Lot2 Sapele LGA, at the cost of N 466,416,380.71 and paid on the 26/03/2020.
He alleged “this blackmail scheme explains why the 2019 Budget of the NDDC was passed by the NASS Committee in March, 2020”, adding that, “we are talking about a budget that was billed to expire in May, 2020. This implication is that the management of the NDDC had only five weeks, to implement the budget of one fiscal year, and present a performance report on the same budget.

“This scheme has continued to play out, because as at this Month of August 2020, the budget of the NDDC for the 2020 fiscal year has not been passed by the Joint National Assembly Committee on NDDC. Sadly, nobody seems to care to ask questions because people are falling for the well-scripted smokescreen playing out in the two Chambers of the National Assembly.”
According to the statement, “this document, is among the many others tendered before the NASS Committee, which never saw the light of the day, and which the NDDC Committee were never allowed to speak on, when they eventually appeared before the Committee, during the public hearing. It was based on this evidential claim that the IMC of NDDC staged a walk-out, on the first day they were to testify before the Committee.
“The details of this list can be verified from the Central Bank of Nigeria, through a Freedom Of Information (FOI) request.
“Indeed, the same allegation informed the reason all well-meaning Nigerians urged the Committee Chairman, Hon. Tunji-Ojo to recuse himself from the Chairmanship of that hearing. This is in keeping with the Nemo judex in causa sua, which is a Latin phrase that upholds the principle of natural justice that no one can judge a case in which they have an interest”.
It continued that, “it is very unfortunate that against all objective appeals and moral persuasions, Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, alongside some other accused members of the House Committee on NDDC, proceeded to hold a public hearing, which was initially slated for two days, being the 15th and 16th of July 2020, but which effectively ran till 20th of the month, only for him to decide, at his own pace and time, to recuse himself from the hearing, on the last day, an action which cast a dark shade on the entire public.
“This is because, the same reason for which he recused himself on the last day was enough for him to steer clear from the matter, ab initio. The foregoing points to a clear fact that the Committee set out to do a bidding, that was never in the interest of the public. They obviously needed a public hearing to tell the public what they wanted the public to hear, rather than the facts of the matter.
“The Spokesperson the House of Representatives, Hon. Benjamin Kalu, on a National Television Programme, recently, admitted publicly, that Contractors often approached Chairmen of the House Committees and the members, to use their office to compel MDAs to pay them. This definitely should be the new height of the abuse of the oath of office they swore, not to allow their personal interest interfere with the discharge of their official duties.
“Recall that since these allegations were first made by the Acting Executive Director, Projects, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh on National Television, Hon. Olubumni Tunji-Ojo has not deemed it fit to discountenance the allegations by way of a law suit”.
The statement also gave a detailed breakdown of the contracts which the National Assembly allegedly compelled the NDDC Interim Management Committee to pay before the 2019 budget is harmonized.

– The Nation

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