Senator James Manager, representing Delta South Senatorial District in the National Assembly, has denied benefitting from contracts of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) during and after his chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs.
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, had in a letter addressed to Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, which was leaked to newsmen by a youth group in Abuja on Sunday, named Manager as one of the lawmakers, who got six NDDC contracts.
Gbajabiamila had given Akpabio 48- hour ultimatum to name lawmakers that allegedly got NDDC contracts.
The Executive Director Projects of the agency, Dr Cairo Ojougboh, had accused the Senator of getting contracts from the Commission.
However, Manager, in a statement on Monday, threatened legal action against the Commission’s Executive Director Projects for defamation.
Senator Manager said: “I sincerely wish to react as follows: That my tenure as chairman of Niger Delta Committee in the Senate effectively ended in 2015.
“That ever since then I have never visited NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt or any of its branches.
“That NDDC never awarded any contract to any company owned by me. That I do not know of any company owned by me, that has ever gone into bidding for government jobs anywhere in the world. (This may come to many as a surprise but that is the gospel truth).”
He challenged Ojougboh to back his allegations with proof of evidence, saying: “Those who are alleging to defame me must be aware of the consequences.
“That is the interest of the gullible innocent public, the authors led by the said Dr Cairo Ojougboh or any other person should provide among other things the following please;
“(A) detailed description of the said jobs. (B) names of companies (C) payments already made and to whom? (D) job performance (E) The Directors as they appear in the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
“That I sincerely in the name God request for proof of evidence. This is a very simple minimum demand.”