N9trillion PenCom probe: Committee chair steps aside, accuses lawmaker of bribery

N9trillion PenCom probe: Committee chair steps aside, accuses lawmaker of bribery

The Chairman of the House of Representatives’ ad-hoc committee probing the activities of national pension Commission since 2017, Ehiozuwa Agbonayinma has stepped aside from the probe citing bribery attempt by his colleague and PenCom to stifle the N9trillion probe and subvert the report of the ad-hoc committee.

The lawmaker from Edo also accused a fellow lawmaker, Oluwole Oke of soliciting a bribe from Pencom.

He has therefore handed over the continuation of the probe to his deputy, Iboro Ekanem.

Speaking at the probe on Thursday, April 18 in Abuja where PenCom failed to appear, Agbonayinma revealed that “Hon. Oluwole Oke a member of this Parliament and a ranking member threw decorum to the wind when he took it upon himself and through his deliberate actions to derail the activities of the Ad-hoc Committee, his conduct is morally and parliamentary unacceptable.

“From the inception of the investigations his actions were infamous and uncomplimentary befitting of a lawmaker which is to walk in the path of Justice.

“He made overtures in subverting the mandate of the ad-hoc committee which was disregarded, on the 20th of March, 2019.

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“He brought the Ag DG PenCom and the Director Operations to my office to request to know what it will take for me to scuttle the investigations, my reply was that PenCom should submit requested documents and that the committee intends to work judiciously as directed in the resolution of the House”, Agbonayinma said.

Disclosing further, he said, “From our findings, the body language of the Honourable member is that of a commissioned agent and with a directive to stifle the investigations and subvert the report of the ad-hoc committee.

“It is very sad that a ranking parliamentarian is involved in these unwholesome acts.

“Further aware that the Committee wrote a series of letters to PenCOM from December 2018 and has so far written ten (10) letters to PenCOM requesting information and submission of Memorandum to the committee.

“Also, note that letters were also communicated to Pension Funds Administrators (PFA’s), Pension Fund Custodians (PFC’s), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Office of the Secretary of the Federation, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), NLC, TUC and various Stakeholders and Government Parastatals.

“It may surprise you to note that our first Public Hearing was held on the 7th of February, 2019.

“Please, be aware that I have been trendy on the social media, print and electronic media on the sack of Deborah Agbonayinma by the management of PenCOM over the presentation of fake credentials.

“As a lawmaker of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and a parent, I will never condone illegality and at all times stand on the path of Justice.

“I have been smeared by the conduct of a child who is an adult, married and over 30 years of age, who is responsible for her actions and inactions.

“I will always walk on the path of justice and the oaths I took as prescribed by the seventh schedule to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to function honestly in the discharge of my duties.

“The management of PenCOM is on a path of war because of the ongoing investigations by the Ad-hoc Committee, using public funds to blackmail and threaten the committee through some members by saying I am hard on the commission because of the sack of my daughter.

“It is germane to note that the commission sacked her on the 27th February 2019 and the Ad-hoc committee started its investigations on December 12th, 2018. It is scandalous to link PenCOM probe to my daughter’s sack.

“The truth about the PenCOM funds must come out. They are trying to deviate from the real issues.

“The Committee is about to round up the investigation and present its report before the House. We are resolute to do a thorough investigation without fear or favour.”

The public hearing was however adjourned sine die, following the non-appearance of the regulatory agency, National Pension Commission (PenCom).

In a swift reaction to the allegation, Oluwole Oke, the Chairman, House Committee on Public Procurement denied the allegation via a text message.

“How and in what way. Let him substantiate his allegations with facts.

“Such allegation is false and untrue.

“He (Agbonayinma) should not drag me into his woes and that of his daughter over their allegations of certificate forgery.

“The Committee has Constitutional powers to do their job and bring their report to the floor. I have no business with Pencom. I don’t owe any PFA nor a Director in any.

“If there is any lawmaker that PenCom hates it’s me because of my Legislative activities sponsoring bills that exited the Armed Forces and Intelligence Communities,” the Osun lawmaker said in the SMS.

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