The Nigerian Senate has jumped to the defence of its members mentioned among lawmakers who collected over 60% of contracts from the Niger Delta Development Commission.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Letitiins, Senator Ayo Akinyure gave the clarification while addressing newsmen on Monday.
Akinyelur argued that senators from the oil rich Niger Delta region had the right to facilitate the allocation of projects in the commission to their constituencies.
Akinyelure’s panel was directed by the Senate to probe the allegations levelled against it’s members by the minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio.
Akinyelure who represents Ondo Central Senatorial District stated that Senators from the Niger Delta had every right to influence projects to their constituencies.
However, his panel would investigate any senator who may have manipulated the system by executing such contracts through their companies.
He said, “Senators are representatives of the people in the legislature and we have power of appropriation.
“Projects allocated to us are put in the various ministries and agencies of government where they can be fully executed.
“Those of us from the Niger Delta region can lobby for some of the projects to be put in our various constituencies. That does not mean that the money for their execution were given to senators.
“We don’t touch money here but influence projects to be executed in our constituencies.”
Senator Godswill Akpabio had mentioned Senator James Manager and Senator Peter Nwaoboshi as Senators who took contracts from the NDDC without executing them.