Reps panel petitions ICPC over bribery allegation against members
• Rectors deny inducement of lawmakers
House of Representatives ad hoc committee probing alleged job racketeering and gross mismanagement in federal ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) has petitioned Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) over bribery allegations against members of the committee.
Chairman, Yusuf Gagdi, who disclosed this, when rectors of federal polytechnics appeared before the committee, yesterday, said the panel will not fall for “cheap blackmail” while carrying out its duties.
A report, earlier this week, had accused the lawmakers of extorting money from heads of federal ministries and MDAs, including those of tertiary institutions across the country.
But at the resumed hearing, Gagdi, who grilled the rectors on the matter, asked the chairman, Committee of Federal Polytechnic Rectors, Dr. Yahaya Bande, what he knew about the scandal.
Bande, who is the rector of Federal Polytechnic, Kaura-Namoda, Zamfara State, said neither he nor any of his colleagues had met with the committee prior to yesterday’s appearance.
Describing the allegation as absurd, Bande maintained that the rectors were not involved.
He said: “I give you my word. In fact, it was yesterday I heard that news. We haven’t appeared before this committee. It was yesterday most of us came to Abuja. How could it be possible that someone will blame or claim someone has collected a bribe from him? That is absurd.
And I’m telling you that this is of no consequence to us. It is not related to us and no polytechnic is involved with that.
“The Committee of Federal Polytechnic Rectors is not in receipt of any account number or account name of any member of this committee sitting today. So, I will say it under oath that we have not received any account number from any member of this committee.”
He added that he did not receive inquiry from any media organisation, asking him about suspicious transactions between rectors and some members of the committee.
In his response, however, Gagdi said the panel had petitioned ICPC to investigate the matter, stressing: “This is unacceptable. I don’t have a cap to receive dollars; so do the members of my committee.”
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