James Manager, the senator representing Delta South senatorial district has finally broken his silence over claims that a serving senator is single-handedly handling about 300 contracts for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Manager has been the longest serving chairman of the senate committee on NDDC and immediate past chairman of the committee.
BIGPEN Online recalls that Ojuogboh who made the allegation during a press briefing in Abuja, said that of the 300 contracts, 120 has been fully paid for.
Although he did not mention the name of the serving senator but he allegedly accused the senator of sabotaging the efforts of the interim management committee of the NDDC from carrying out its assignment.
“Somebody who is particularly interested in a major contract of the NDDC, who is a member of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, he alone has 300 jobs in the NDDC. Of the 300 contracts, 120 has been fully paid and he has not mobilised to site for these 120,” Ojougboh said.
“It is obvious that the reason he is behaving the way he is behaving is that he wants the system, the looting in the NDDC to continue, and this is what the Interim Management Committee will not support. It is as simple as that.
“The NDDC Interim Payment Certificates that are pending are worth over N3 trillion. That is what the NDDC owes these phantom contractors. It is these phantom contractors that are preaching and making noise to stop the probe. All they want is for the stealing to continue.
“Therefore, when given the opportunity that we have just been given, our job is to make sure that we avail the auditors all the necessary documents and information, all the necessary help they need because we are not protecting any interest but to help the auditors do their job as it is required”, Ojougboh was quoted to have said.
But in a statement posted on his facebook page on Saturday, Manager challenged Ojougboh to be courageous enough to name the said senator who allegedly cornered the said contracts.
He also dared Ojougboh to make the name of the senator available to law enforcement agencies for possible investigation and prosecution.
According to him, he has been inundated with series of calls over the allegation ostensibly because of rumour that he (Manager) might be the senator being talked about.
Manager, however said that Ojougboh’s failure to mention the said serving senator had created room for ‘pull him down’ syndrome by heavy weight politicians and outlandish insinuations and innuendos by the reading public.
The senator said, “I am currently out of the country on an official trip. I have been inundated with several communications about what Hon. Dr.Cairo Ojougboh said about NDDC and a Delta Senator on award of contracts.
“I have always known Dr Cairo to be a bold, fearless, courageous and tall man.
“On this matter he appears to be a disastrous disappointment on his failure to name the particular Senator from Delta that is involved.
“Instead his outburst has given job to pull him down heavy weight politicians and their ever ready hangouts to make stupendous insinuations and innuendos.
“Dr Cairo, It will do you well to do the needful. Just mention the name in public and submit same to Law Enforcement Agencies” Manager added.