…Demands immediate retraction, apology
BY VICTOR BUORO, ABUJA – The Senate on Tuesday expressed grave concern over a statement credited to the Executive Director (Projects) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr Cairo Ojougboh, alleging that members of the National Assembly received varying sums of money as COVID-19 palliative.
Accordingly, the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly while disclaiming the allegation in its entirety, challenged Dr Ojuogboh, to provide evidence to back up his claim or immediately retract his statement alongside tendering an apology to the National Assembly in the absence of evidence to backup his claims.
Ojougboh in an interview with a national daily had accused the National Assembly of being “culpable” in the sleaze contracts awarded by the commission, alleging that Senators and members of the House of Representatives were beneficiaries of COVID-19 palliatives from NDDC.
According to Ojougboh; “In the National Assembly, each of the Senators got N20 million, while the House of Representatives members got N15 million for COVID-19 from the NDDC”.
But in its reaction, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Ajibola Basiru, described the allegation by Ojougboh as totally false and therefore, challenged Ojuogboh to provide the names of lawmakers who were beneficiaries of the said palliative.
Basiru said; “The Senate categorically denies that any Senator collected the sum of N20 million or any sum whatsoever from NDDC as Covid relief fund of for any purpose whatsoever.
“The Senate challenges Dr Ojougboh to publicly provide evidence of his claim and list the names of the Senators he allegedly gave the alleged sum.
“Failure to provide evidence of his claim, the Senate hereby demands immediate retraction and public apology from Dr Cairo Ojougboh,” Basiru said.