The senate recently revealed that it is committed to ensuring the probity and accountability of all agencies of government regardless of whose ox is gored.
According to the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Ajibola Basiru, any allegations in respect of the budget is cheap blackmail predicated on falsehood.
He added that he expected an organization of integrity to have formally made complaints to the anti-corruption agencies of the purported allegations against Senators and Members of House of Representative of the NDDC committees if they are sure that they have the facts.
His words, “Therefore, the allegations in respect of the budget clearly smacks of cheap blackmail predicated on falsehood.
“One would have expected an organisation of integrity to have formally made complaints to the anti-corruption agencies of the purported allegations against Senators and Members of House of Representative of the NDDC committees, if there are facts to substantiate same.
“The National Assembly will not succumb to cheap blackmail from any quarters and is committed to ensuring probity and accountability of all agencies of government no matter whose ox is gored.
“The Senate and indeed the National Assembly is also committed to exercising it constitutional mandate and will not be cowed by spurious allegations of the likes of Dr. Cairo Ojougboh. This is a very disturbing trend and the Senate will not tow this path. The proper avenue to challenge exercise of power of the National Assembly is the court of law not spewing falsehood on pages of newspapers and electronic media.”
“Ordinary, while we are still at a loss as to why Dr. Ojougboh has repeatedly made such allegations at a time when the NDDC is under scrutiny of forensic audit and investigation by the National Assembly, the Senate is even more surprised considering the fact that the allegations are baseless and unsubstantiated.
“Apparently Dr. Cairo Ojougboh is ignorant of the constitutional mandate of the National Assembly to carry out oversight function overall agencies expending government resources with a view to exposing and preventing corruption, abuse and inefficiency. It stands logic in the head to claim that by invoking its constitutional power of oversight to investigate the activities of the IMC, the National Assembly intends to scuttle forensic audit. The outlandish claim is illogical.
“What is the adverse relationship between oversight function of the National Assembly and a forensic audit?”
“While the National Assembly is committed to reposition the NDDC to address the challenges of the Niger Delta through facilitating the rapid and sustainable development of the Niger Delta, however, it is naturally concerned about the allegations of poor management or outright fraud in the management of the funds and operations of the commission. The setting up of the investigation is predicated on the above concern and not to victimise or witch hunt anyone.
“It was also in this regards that the National Assembly has accorded the executives the necessary cooperation that will facilitate the completion of the forensic audit.”
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