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No Senator got N20 million, Senate counters NDDC director

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Nigerian Senate on Tuesday denied claims that some of its members received N20 million each as COVID-19 palliatives at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

“The Senate views with grave concern a statement credited to Dr Cairo Ojougboh, Executive Director, Projects of the NDDC who alleged that NASS members received varying sums of money as COVID – 19 palliative,” Senate spokesman Senator Dr Ajibola Basiru said in a statement.

“The Senate hereby disclaims the allegation in its entirety.”

The Senate’s denial of the allegation came weeks after Ojougboh claimed that the NDDC gave N20 million each to some senators and House of Representatives members.

Ojougboh made the allegation in an interview with the Vanguard. At the time, the Senate and House of Representatives were probing contract frauds and misappropriation of funds in the NDDC.

He faulted the National Assembly probe of the commission, saying they are the major beneficiaries of the financial misdealings in the NDDC. He did not provide proofs for these allegations.

But Senate spokesman 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.

Bashiru challenged Dr Ojougboh to publicly provide evidence of his claim and list the names of the senators he allegedly gave the alleged sum.

The Senate spokesman urged Ojougboh to retract the statement and tender a public apology to the lawmakers if he fails to provide a piece of evidence to support his allegation against the National Assembly members.

“Failure to provide evidence of his claim, the Senate hereby demands immediate retraction and public apology from Dr Cairo Ojougboh,” Bashiru said.


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