Bukola Saraki, Senate president and Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the House of Representatives, deny allegations by Bisi Akande, former interim national chairman, All Progressives Congress, that they were sponsored into leadership position of the National Assembly by oil barons
BUKOLA Saraki, president of the Senate and Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the House of Representatives, on Monday, June 28, described as mischievous, the allegation by Bisi Akande, former interim national chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, that their emergence as leaders of the National Assembly was facilitated by oil subsidy culprits.
Saraki, in a statement by Chucks Okocha, his special assistant on print media, described the allegation as malicious, false and reprehensible. He further described the allegation as the figment of Akande’s imagination and wondered how he, who moved the motion, which exposed oil subsidy scam would now turn out to benefit from it.
The statement argued that even when Saraki was still in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, he did not spare the ministers of petroleum and finance during probes of alleged missing $20 billion by asking them hard questions.
Saraki decried AKande’s allegation as an attempt to portray him as possessing the tendency to frustrate President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption campaign.
He assured Nigerians that the eighth Senate under his leadership would be at the forefront of anti-corruption crusade being pursued by the new administration.
The statement said in part: “Let it be known, therefore, that the Senate Presidency of Saraki would not in any way be a stumbling block against President Buhari’s posture against anti-corruption.
“Rather, the eighth Senate under him as the president would give all necessary legislative support to the administration to fight and reduce corruption as his previous actions and bold steps taken against the so-called oil barons indicated that Saraki is committed to anti-corruption…
“Saraki is determined and focused to achieve the Senate targeted legislative agenda and he is committed to support President Buhari to deliver on his promises to the people of Nigeria.”
Also in a statement issued by Turaki Adamu Hassan, special adviser, media and public affairs to the speaker, Dogara challenged Akande to name the so-called oil barons that sponsored their elections.
Dogara insisted that he was elected on personal antecedents, capacity, experience, team playing spirit, incorruptibility and his progressive mind. “The allegation is therefore baseless, lacking in substance and merit, and unbecoming of a well respected elder statesman such as Akande,” Dogara said, adding that Akande was expected to help calm troubled waters and not create further crises in the party.
“In case Akande does not know, the first investigative motion adopted by the eighth House of Representatives under the leadership of the Speaker was to investigate the allegation of fraud in the oil-swap contract awarded by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
“A resolution instituting investigation into the allegation was passed with a resolve to constitute an Ad-hoc committee to investigate the NNPC as well as its subsidiary, Pipelines and Products Marketing Company over the swap contracts,” the statement added.
He now wondered how then the House under the leadership as speaker would order investigation into activities of those who allegedly sponsored his election.
Dogara said no amount of insinuation and intimidation would stop him from fighting against corruption.
— Jun 30, 2015 @ 11:55 GMT