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Published On: Thu, Sep 17th, 2020

NDDC: Akpabio’s visit to NASS not about probe – House Spokesman

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By Christiana Ekpa

Spokesperson of the House of Representatives, Hon. Benjamin Kalu, has dismissed reports in some National dailies that the visit of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs to the National Assembly on Tuesday was to mend fences over the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) probe saga.
Kalu said the Ad-hoc Committee investigating NDDC has since concluded its assignment with reports submitted, saying, when the lower chamber reconvenes, the report would be discussed.
Godswill Akpabio on Tuesday paid a visit to the newly appointed clerk of the National Assembly, Ojo Amos Olatunde, in his office at the National Assembly Complex.
Akpabio’s sudden visit to the National Assembly on Tuesday triggered speculations among news media and workers in the complex suggesting that he may have come to mend fences.
In a statement on Wednesday, Benjamin Kalu shed more light on the motive of the Minister’s visit, stating that Akpabio only made a friendly visit to the National Assembly.
The Spokesman said Nigeria’s Parliament is for Nigerians including Godswill Akpabio, notwithstanding unresolved issues and investigation of the agency which he heads.
“The Honourable Minister supervising NDDC was at the National Assembly on Tuesday to familiarize with the new clerk of the National Assembly. It has nothing to do with the House of Representatives or the Senate.
He reiterated that the legislature was ready to cooperate with the executive on issues that were in the interest of Nigerians, hence, at any point in time, the House of Representatives under Femi Gbajabiamila and the Senate under Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan would not hesitate to host any members of the Executive.
He stated further: “That is why the leadership of the two houses, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila (Speaker of the House) and Sen. Ahmad Idris Lawan (President of the Senate) are key partners of President Muhammadu Buhari’s new project of the tripartite committee. The purpose is to make sure the dividends of democracy reaches the people.”
According to the statement, the parliament was ready to defend the manifesto that brought this government into being.
“Our assurance to Nigerians is that we understand the mandate of section 88 and 89 of the oversight functions, and we will never sacrifice it on the grounds of relationship. Although it is good to have relationships within the arms of Government, no Arm of Government should sacrifice her independence based on a cordial relationship with other Arm of Government”, he concluded.

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