•••Promises To Always Respect The Institution Of Parliament
Senator Godswill Akpabio and APC preferred candidate for President of the 10th Senate on Friday, made a surprise appearance at the Senate New Building of the National Assembly in response to a telephone invitation by the Chairman of the Senate Ad Hoc Committee, Senator Yusuf Yusuf, investigating the budgets of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Recall that the Senate about two weeks ago had set up an ad hoc committee to investigate the 2021, 2022, and 2023 budgets of the NDDC that were allegedly implemented without parliamentary approval.
Senator Akpabio, who was accompanied by members of the Senate Stability Group of the 10th Senate, while addressing journalists on his appearance at the Senate stated that, ” I received a call late last night from the chairman of the committee to appear by10 am today and as a law abiding citizen and respecter of the parliament, I am here to honour the invitation, but unfortunately, Senator Yusuf and other members of the committee are not around for over three and half hours now.
“I was required to bring certain documents relating to the investigation of the Ad Hoc Committee on NDDC budgets. I honoured the invitation with both serving and incoming colleagues of mine. But unfortunately, we have been here for over 3 hours without any member of the Ad-Hoc Committee here at the chairman’s office.
According to the former Senate Minority Leader, luckily we got Senator Yusuf on the phone, and he confirmed that today being Friday, members must have gone to the mosque while some would have traveled out of Abuja and a new date would be fixed.”
Akpabio also stated that. “I got other members of the committee like Senator Uche Ekwunife, who said she is not aware of the invitation as all investigative activities have been concluded. As a legislator, I will always accord the parliament all respect when invited to appear.
“Let me also place it on record that even as we speak, I am yet to get a hard copy of the invitation, but I have to respect the authority of our National Assembly. I
learnt that the House of Representatives had since passed the three budgets in question and that there was no decision to invite me as a former minister that resigned from the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs almost a year ago. I was only a supervising minister for NDDC exercising delegated authority over an agency in the ministry.
The former Governor of Akwa Ibom State however, promised to at anytime, honour any parliamentary summons in any form as a mark of respect for an institution he had served as a leader in time past.
Among members of the Stability Group that accompanied the Senate Presidential hopeful were Senator Isah Jubrin, vice Chairman Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Ibrahim Bomai, Senator-elect Shuaib Afolabi Salisu, Senator-elect Wasiu Eshinlokun, Senator-Elect Abdulaziz Yar’dua, Senator-elect Mutari Dan Dutse, Senator-elect Titus Zam, Senator Ikra Bilbis and Senator-elect Darlington Nwokocha.