Senate Presidency: CSO Sends Tinubu Warning

Senate Presidency: CSO Sends Tinubu Warning

Policy Advocacy and Integrity Network Nigeria, Civil Society Organisation (CSO), has asked president-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to be wary of being railroaded to settle for any aspirant for the office of the Senate Presidency who has a corruption case hanging on his neck.

In a statement signed by its executive director, Josh Mesele, the organisation said it became necessary to caution the incoming president following the invitation letter sent to one of the aspirants from the Southern part of the country by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) to answer allegations of corruption.

The EFCC had last week summoned Akpabio to appear before it on March 29, 2023 but the former minister through his lawyers wrote back pleading for more time to be able to attend to his health abroad.

Asking Tinubu to be mindful of the choice of a Senate president, the CSO said, “We at Policy Advocacy and Integrity Network Nigeria think it expedient to advise the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to be wary of who to support for the position of the Presidency of the Senate or even the Speakership of House of Representatives.

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“This is to ensure that his administration does not take off with the blight of putting corrupt personalities in those high offices. If an aspirant is being invited here and there by the anti-corruption agencies, the onus is on such an aspirant to get himself or herself exonerated before throwing hats into the ring. That is the correct moral step to take”.

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In 2020, the EFCC said it was investigating corruption allegations against the former minister of Niger Delta Affairs now Senator-elect, Godswill Akpabio.

This was contained in a response letter dated August 14 to Foundation for True Freedom and Good Governance, a civil society group.

The EFCC, in a response letter by Adebayo Adeniyi, head of the economic governance section at the EFCC, said “We write to acknowledge the receipt of your petition dated August 3, 2020 in respect of the above subject and to inform you that investigation into the case has commenced.”

There had been allegations of N40 billion fraud perpetrated in the NDDC, a ministry which was headed by Akpabio for three years.

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The Senate and the House of Representatives in 2020 resolved to probe the alleged N40 billion financial recklessness of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the NDDC in the previous three months.

Also, there were allegations of over N86 billion contract scam involving the senator-elect and the former Acting Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei, which the EFCC has been looking into.

The anti-graft agency had also in the past arrested Akpabio over alleged theft of N108.1billion of Akwa Ibom funds.

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