Orji Kalu, senate chief whip, has denied having any link with contracts awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in Abia state.
The former governor of Abia said he only facilitated road projects as his intervention efforts for some communities in the state after they requested him to do so.
Also, Emmanuel Uduaghan, former governor of Delta, denied having any link with the projects done by the commission as claimed by Godswill Akpabio, minister of Niger Delta affairs.
In a letter to the house of representatives, Akpabio named Kalu and Uduaghan as some of those linked to contracts awarded by the NDDC in 2018, most of which are road projects valued at over N500 million.
But reacting via a statement on Monday, Kalu said “whatever link I have with the projects is because it was considered due to my intervention”.
The statement issued on his behalf by Emeka Nwala read: “I was Governor of Abia State between 1999-2007 and never held any public office until June 11, 2019 when I was sworn in as a Senator. Between 2016-2018 during my tour to several communities; leaders and welfare unions of most communities pleaded for urgent intervention on some dilapidated roads.
“I wrote to the NDDC informing the body of the conditions of these roads and the need for their attention since Abia is an NDDC state.
“The NDDC in their consideration which I am very grateful to, awarded the roads to companies that duly tendered for the projects and not myself. Whatever link I have with the projects is because it was considered due to my intervention.
“The contractors have completed and delivered these roads long time ago except Abam-Atani road which I learnt from the contractors was slowed down due to rain but still ongoing.
“Meanwhile, it would interest Nigerians to know that the contractors who built these roads have not been paid any dime . It has not been easy with the contractors but because it’s a community project they have only but kept hope alive on the NDDC.”
Uduaghan, on the other hand, described Akpabio’s claim as false, saying he never approached the NDDC for any project.
The former governor, who was reported to be linked with the emergency repairs of Close B, Alhaji Estate & Environs, Rumuodomaya, Port Harcourt, said it is “ridiculous” to link him with a project outside Delta.
A statement from Monoyo Edon, his spokesman, read: “We want to state very clearly that the said accusation is FALSE. Dr. Uduaghan has never approached the NDDC for any contract whatsoever. It is even more ridiculous that the said contract is a road inside Port Harcourt town.
“Dr. Uduaghan has drawn the attention of the Hon. Minister of the Niger Delta, Sen Godswill Akpabio to the publication and hopes he makes a correction.
“Members of the public are advised to disregard the mischevious publication.”