By Tordue Salem, Abuja
Group of Civil Society Organisations, CSOs operating under the auspices of Professional Mediator and Conciliator, PMC has described as an unfounded and baseless allegation of spying on lawmakers and staff through contract manipulation against the Clerk to the National Assembly, Arch. Amos Olatunde Ojo.
In a statement in Abuja yesterday, the Executive Director of the group, Comrade Igbotako Nowinta said a Non-Governmental Organisation, Equity and Transparency Development Initiative is a faceless organization out to tarnish the image of the Clerk, Arch. Amos Olatunde Ojo.
He said the group made the allegation in a petition dated January 10, 2021, titled: “A petition against Arch. Amos Olatunde Ojo, Clerk to the National Assembly” in which it alleged that the Clerk was abetting espionage as well as influencing the award of ICT contract in the National Assembly to a company in which he has an interest which according to him is nothing but cheap blackmail.
The Executive Director recalled that shortly after the National Assembly Service Commission, NASC relieved the former Clerk to the National Assembly, Barrister Ataba Sani-Omolori of his appointment; a campaign of calumny has been directed at Arch. Amos Olatunde Ojo by those he described as sworn enemies and desperate conspirators.
The group claimed that “the conspirators have regrouped again to wage another ruthless war against Ojo Olatunde Amos using the Equity and Transparency Development Initiative, a faceless and non-existing NGO as their foot soldiers he insisted that the allegation was frivolous and lie from the pit of hell”.
Speaking further, the Executive Director said while the group “supports and encourage the ICPC to dispassionately carry out its statutory function concerning the allegation, “it is also imperative that members of the public critically and objectively view this carefully orchestrated witch-hunt solely aimed to distract Ojo Olatunde Amos unduly.”
The Executive Director of PMC, Comrade Igbotako Nowinta who is also ex-Chairman, Committee for the Defense of Human Rights, (CDHR) Edo State regretted that the allegation came when Arch. Ojo has succeeded in blocking the internet corruption network in NASS which became endemic before his appointment thereby saving the National Assembly 40 per cent of the previous expenditure.
“This deft move has made internet available to all Senators and members of the House of Representatives, residence and guest houses of principal officers.
“Wi-Fi is also available to all legislators as part of measure to contain the spread of COVID-19 and has made internet available to all the lawmakers and the Principal Officers within the National Assembly Complex and residence at a lower cost.
“It is ridiculous that those that are supposed to be accused of espionage and corruption and subsequently put behind bars are the ones playing to the gallery today, trying desperately, to smear and rubbish a man of integrity like Ojo Olatunde Amos, who has saved millions of Naira for the National Assembly and has brought sanity to the business of internet activities in the nation’s highest legislative body.
“As patriotic citizens of Nigeria, we will not watch akimbo while those who have stolen from our commonwealth are busy trying to embarrass a man trying to rid the National Assembly of corruption”, he added.
He requested that the Chief Operation Officer of Helios, Mr Joseph Quaye a Ghanaian be investigated as a “pointer revealing the clandestine espionage activities during his contract with the National Assembly”.
In a brief history of what transpired in National Assembly ICT before the appointment of Arch. Ojo, Igbotako said Sunnet System and Datacom services limited was engaged in September 2019 to carry out an audit report of the National Assembly ICT.
According to him, the report of that exercise clearly exposed the “ rot and corruption being perpetrated by the ICT contractors namely Helios, Nanocom & Consynet hired by the National Assembly then which in trying to correct, Arch. Ojo is being accused of aiding espionage”.