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Senate Presidency: Probe Alleged $10,000 Bribery Scandal in N’Assembly, CD Tells EFCC, ICPC

Senate Presidency: Probe Alleged $10,000 Bribery Scandal in N’Assembly, CD Tells EFCC, ICPC

Sunday Aborisade in Abuja

Foremost civil rights group in Nigeria, the Campaign for Democracy (CD) has urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to probe the alleged $10,000 bribery involving some members of the National Assembly, particularly some senators.

The CD in a statement issued in Abuja yesterday by its Secretary General, Pastor Ifeanyi Odili, specifically asked the anti-graft agencies to thoroughly probe the alleged bribery scandal involving a ranking senator and some newly elected senators for the 10th Senate.

The media last week reported a meeting between a senator and elected senators where the sum of $10,000 was allegedly given to each of the senators.
The CD said: “We heard it through our impeccable source that some ranking senators have started using their ill-gotten wealth to woo the returning Senators and new members who have just received their certificates of return from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) last week with dollars and other hard currencies in other to win their votes when electing principal officers of the National Assembly.

“If we allow these politicians to use the money to induce the newly elected members of the 10th National Assembly, the nation will not really get it right again.
“We are afraid that such practice could plunge the nation into another round of quagmire and the leadership of the National Assembly will not be able to join hands with the executive to fight corruption headlong since they are products of corruption. It takes a corrupt senator to lobby positions with money.

“We have reliably gathered that aspirants for the position of the Senate Presidency have started reaching out to both returning and newly elected Senators with huge amounts of hard currencies to get their vote on the assumption of office come June 2023.

“The EFCC and the ICPC should, as a matter of urgency, swing into action and probe the disturbing phenomenon to save our nascent democracy.
“The anti-graft agencies must also ensure that no Senator that is facing corruption charges or has pending cases in court is allowed to take a sensitive position in the 10th Senate.
“They must all be thoroughly checked and cleared before they are allowed to contest any of the sensitive positions, most importantly, that of the Senate President.

“Most worrisome, some of the senators are still having cases at the courts ranging from money laundering and other corruption cases.

“This, we are poised to resist, if we must rid Nigeria of corruption which has become very endemic in our body system. We want senators whose track records at the Senate are unblemished.”

The civil rights group wondered: “Why the aspirant who is already giving out dollars failed to queue behind the zoning arrangements, which will give room for equity, fairness, and justice.”

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