…Vows that no Senator got the money, Asks for immediate retraction, Apology from him
By Henry Umoru
THE Senate has dared the Executive Director of Projects, Interim Management Committee IMC, Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh to as a matter of urgency, come up with the list of Senators who received N20 Million each as palliative with the outbreak of Coronavirus, COVID-19 Pandemic.
The Senate has asked Ojuogboh to come up with the names or keep quiet and stop raising wild and unsubstantiated allegations against the Federal lawmakers, just as he has been asked to immediately retract the statement and apologise to the legislative arm.
In a statement Tuesday by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Ajibola Basiru, All Progressives Congress, APC, Osun Central, the Upper Chamber has however exonerated its members from the allegations, saying that no single Senator received such money as Palliatives from the NDDC as alleged by Ojuogboh that Senators got N20 Million each while members of the House of Representatives received N15million each
The statement read, “The Senate views with grave concern a statement credited to Dr Cairo Ojougboh, the Executive Director, Projects of the NDDC who alleged that National Assembly members received varying sums of money as COVID – 19 palliative.
“The Senate hereby disclaims the allegation in its entirety. 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 an immediate retraction and public apology from Dr Cairo Ojougboh.”
Recall that Ojougboh had said that Nigeria will break if they release NDDC looters’ list and that the National Assembly was being terrified by Forensic Audit, just as he also alleged that Senators got N20 Million each while members of the House of Representatives got N15 million as palliative for COVID-19.
He had said, “They are talking about COVID-19 payment, the federal government is given every citizen N30,000 each, do you know how much federal government has spent? The CBN and many other corporations have been giving COVID-19 allowances, which are within their purview, just like NDDC did.
“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 National Assembly. They all received COVID19 allowances.”
When Ojougboh was asked if the money spent by the commission on COVID-19 palliatives was budgeted for, he said the money was spent under emergency, adding, “It was not budgeted for because it was an emergency, it’s allowed. It comes under emergency. The N30,000 per person that the federal government is giving to the citizen, was it budgeted for? Did anybody budget for COVID-19? Nobody budgeted for COVID-19. The SGF is the Chairman of the COVID-19 Task Force in Nigeria, was that task force budgeted for? It’s an emergency and it’s allowed.”