Senate dares Jega to substantiate bribe-seeking allegation against NASS

Senate dares Jega to substantiate bribe-seeking allegation against NASS

The Senate on Wednesday called on former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega to be categorical with his blanket allegation of bribe-taking levelled against members of the National Assembly and chairmen of committees.
It would be recalled that during this year’s Democracy Day lecture, the former INEC chairman accused committee chairmen of the National Assembly of demanding bribes while discharging their oversight functions.

The Senate reacted on Wednesday following an adopted Order 43 moved by Senator Isah Misau, representing Bauchi central.

In his words, “Mr. President, I come under order 43. I want to recall that on the Democracy Day, Prof. Attahiru Jega accused all lawmakers and particularly the National Assembly committee chairmen of asking and taking bribe while carrying out their oversight functions.

“I take exceptions to it and would want the professor to mention those he knew are involved. It is by so doing that we can be upright in the fight against corruption in this country.”

Misau also said his privileges were breached and was embarrassed by the unsubstantiated allegation by Jega.

In his ruling, the Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, underscored the need for the former INEC boss to substantiate his allegation.

“It is a slight to the integrity of some of us, where such a statement is made. If he has those kinds of evidences, he should bring it forward. Because to say that, is to suggest that every member of the National Assembly is part of this; even those who are not part of this are condoling this action which is far from the truth.

“I think the professor who is respected should come out and mention these kinds of members he is aware of. If he can’t come out and name them then he should not make such branding statements.

“Going forward to all distinguished and respected Nigerians, in issues that have to do with the institutions and a parliament, if there are cases like this, we have always said that we are not going to cover up for anybody and future accusations, they should name them and see what the institution would do in trying to ensure that the necessary sanctions are taken,” Saraki said.

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