NDDC probe: Akpabio accuses Reps of ‘bullying’ during hearing

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, on Monday, accused the House of Representatives Committee investigating financial mismanagement in the Niger Delta Development Commission, of bullying him.

The House is presently grilling Akpabio as the supervising minister of the NDDC.

The investigative hearing is being held at the Conference Room 231 of the House.

Earlier, the acting Managing Director of NDDC, Prof Kemebradikumo Pondei, had collapsed while being grilled by the lawmakers.

But when the hearing resumed, the committee Deputy Chairman, Thomas Ereyitomi, who presided over the hearing, asked the minister if the three major projects he had carried out had the approval of the Federal Executive Council.

Akpabio, who was interrupted while answering the question, said, “Mr Chairman, the condition, where we are in now, does not require bullying, with due respect.”

However, Ereyitomi responded, “We are not bullying you, honourable minister. Answer the question directly. You know you are my leader. An uncommon leader.”

Akpabio was grilled for about two hours.

Ereyitomi, who later thanked the minister for his time, said the purpose of the committee was not to witchhunt anyone but rather to provide an avenue for “an interactive session” and also an opportunity to hear the minister’s side of the story.

“It is fair hearing that we are doing and we pray that as you leave here, the good direction that you intend to give the NDDC, you will continue to do it for the interest and particularly for the Niger Delta people whom we are here to serve. On that note, I want to thank you for finding time to be here and may God bless you and your team as you go back to your various offices,” the presiding chairman said after which a motion for adjournment was moved.

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