Senator Sam Anyanwu, the member who represented Imo east in the upper legislative chamber in the 8th assembly has denied being a beneficiary of contracts awarded by the Niger Delta Commission (NDDC) as alleged by the minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio.
Anyanwu was named by the minister as one of the lawmakers who got contracts awarded by the NDDC. Akpabio in his letter to Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house of representatives, alleged that Anyanwu got 19 contracts from the Commission.
Akpabio had while appearing before a house of representatives panel probing the mismanagement of N81.5 billion, said federal lawmakers were the biggest beneficiaries of NDDC’s contracts. He told the parliamentarians that NASS members got 60% of NDDC contracts from records available to him.
However, Anyanwu has now challenged his former colleague in the senate to provide proof that he actually benefited from what the press had now dubbed “contract bazaar” at the NDDC.
Anyanwu told reporters in Abuja that he was shocked to have found his name listed among the beneficiaries.
“First I was shocked to hear my name; very shocked that honourable minister of Niger Delta could mention my name that I was awarded contracts,” he said.
“It is disheartening. As politicians, you have political enemies who would act on this to work against you and that is why I feel very very hurt on this issue and I felt I had to clear the air and so you hear my side of the story.
“It was only three names I saw — senator Matthew Urhoghide, chairman of the committee, James Manager and we were about 18 members in that committee. Even James Manager was not even a member of the committee.
“If there are issues, I feel the honourable minister is educated enough. Please let us see the projects, the contracts, names of the companies, the bank where the money was paid. CAC is there; why do you have to insult people like that?
“I’m no longer in the senate. Almost two years, I have left and managing my quiet life and watching what Nigeria will turn out to be. So, if you have issues with the national assembly members, which I understand since he became a minister he has, that has nothing to do with me.”
The Imo state born politician attributed some of his recent ordeals to his support for Bukola Saraki, the president of the senate in the 8th assembly.
“Before we left, our position with Saraki is part of the things we are suffering today. That’s the truth. I’m the only one not in the senate. Why mention my name when I have nothing to do with it? I felt very very hurt,” he said.
The PDP stalwart threatened to take legal actions if Akpabio does not retract the allegation against him.
Anyanwu is not the only person to have denied being involved in NDDC contracts. On Monday, another senator listed as a beneficiary, Peter Nwaoboshi, representing Delta North told RootsTV in an exclusive interview that the minister is merely seeking to divert public attention away from the mismanagement of N81.5 billion by the Interim Management Committee of the NDDC which Akpabio supervises.
According to the senator in a press release on Monday, “this unsubstantiated allegation is in line with Mr Akpabio’s well known agenda to continuously blackmail me so as to keep diverting public attention away from the serious mismanagement of the NDDC by the Interim Management Committee (IMC) under his supervision.”
Nwaoboshi challenged Akpabio to take his list to the EFCC or any other anti-graft agency if he was sure of his facts.