Senate slams reports of lawmakers collecting N20m NDDC COVID-19 palliative

Senate slams reports of lawmakers collecting N20m NDDC COVID-19 palliative

The Senate, on Tuesday, September 1, slammed claims that its members collected N20 million from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) as COVID-19 palliative.

This denial comes in the wake of allegations by the NDDC’s Interim Management Committee (IMC) director of projects; Cairo Ojougboh, in an interview that the embattled commission, gave N20 million to each senator; as well as N15 million to each House of Representatives member as COVID-19 palliatives.

However, in his reaction, the Senate spokesman, Ajibola Basiru said Ojougboh lied that NDCC gave each senator N20 million as COVID-19 palliatives.

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Basiru, in a statement entitled; “NDDC boss says senators got N20m, reps N15m each for COVID–19 – a disclaimer,” said: “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.

“Also, 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 a public apology from Dr Cairo Ojougboh.”

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), on Monday, August 31; implored the National Assembly to listen to the voice of reason; and also rest the Water Resources Bill.

This appeal by the NLC was contained in a statement, which explained that the bill portends danger to national unity.

1st News garnered that the water bill was sent as an executive bill by President Muhammadu Buhari to the 8th National Assembly.

However, the NASS refused to pass it, after nationwide outrage.

In a surprising turn of events; the bill had been returned to the federal lawmakers to consider and likewise pass.

On July 23, 2020, the House of Representatives referred it to a “committee of the whole,” for third reading as well as passage.

The development has continued to witness outcry, with Professor Wole Soyinka, Governor Samuel Ortom; Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum, among several others opposing the return of the bill.

In its response, the NLC, through its president, Ayuba Wabba, in a statement in Abuja titled; ‘Do not ambush Nigerians,’ also warned against the return of the bill.

He said there were already enough challenges facing Nigeria that courting fresh; and also costly problems like the water bill would not do the country any good.

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