June 3, 2020

Infectious Disease Control Bill: Reps ask Police, DSS to probe Ikenga over $10m bribe allegation


By Levinus Nwabughiogu

 House of Representatives has asked the Nigerian Police and the Department of State Security (DSS) to commence a criminal investigation of the spokesman of the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere over allegation of $10m bribe.

It will be recalled that Ugochinyere had in a press conference alleged that the leadership of the House was bribed by foreign interests to expeditiously pass the controversial Infectious Disease Control Bill 2020.

Angered by the allegation, the House set up an ad-hoc committee chaired by Rep. Henry Nwawuba to investigate the matter after the Deputy Speaker, Rep. Idris Wase at plenary on May 5, 2020.

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The Committee was to determine the script of the allegation, the source of the allegation, whether any member of the House was involved in any discussions or negotiations on the purported offer of the said sum, and interrogate all stakeholders.

Adopting the report of the committee on Tuesday, the House found the CUPP culpable of the unfounded allegation.

Rep. Gibeon Goroki, who stood in for the chairman of the committee to brief the House on the outcome of their probe, however, said that Ugochinyere refused to honor the invitation, arguing that the matter was already in court.

He said it was in light of Ugochinyere’s failure to show up at the hearing that the committee recommended a suit for criminal libel, misinformation, and criminal defamation of character.

“The Committee, therefore, finds that Barr. Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere seems to have deliberately embarked on the trip of falsehood and misinformation just to massage the idiosyncratic ego and score cheap social capital,” the Committee said in its report.