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N55m scam: ICPC quizzes another Senator

Posted by By Emmanuel Aziken on 2005/04/19 | Views: 467 |

N55m scam: ICPC quizzes another Senator


ABUJA —THE Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC) has extended its investigations of the N55 million bribe-for-budget scam in the Senate to Senator Mamman Ali, chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Accounts. He was quizzed yesterday.

ABUJA —THE Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC) has extended its investigations of the N55 million bribe-for-budget scam in the Senate to Senator Mamman Ali, chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Accounts. He was quizzed yesterday.

This came as members of the Senate Committee on Ethics which probed the affair lamented the failure of the Senate to deliberate on its report on the investigations of the scandal

Senator Ali, Vanguard gathered, is expected to play a significant role in the on-going prosecution of Senator Wabara and five other Senators by the ICPC for their alleged involvement in the N55 million budget scam.

In their testimonies before the Senate Committee on Ethics, Senator Chris Adighije and Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission alleged that the bribe money was returned to the EFCC in Senator Ali’s residence at the Apo legislative quarters.

The invitation of the Senator, delivered last Thursday according to sources, requested him to appear before ICPC officials yesterday. ICPC officials and other independent sources confirmed that the Senate Committee chairman honoured the invitation yesterday. “Yes, he was around today (yesterday), but I cannot confirm how far our men have gone with him,” one ICPC official confirmed yesterday.

Efforts by Vanguard to contact Senator Ali on phone were not successful yesterday as his mobile phone could not be reached. It could not be confirmed if he was still with the ICPC at press time.

In his appearance before the Senate Committee on Ethics, Senator Adighije had lamented what he described as the clandestine role of Senator Ali in collaborating with Senator Wabara to set him up. He appealed to the Senate Committee on Ethics to invite Senator Ali to shed light on his role in the unfolding bribery saga.

Senator Adighije confessed that the refunded bribe money allegedly provided by Senator Wabara was returned to the EFCC at the residence of Senator Ali, adding that though Senators Ali and Wabara had assured him that nothing would come out of the effort in refunding the money, both Senators distanced themselves from him when the EFCC decided to press further with its investigation of the affair.

In his testimony before the Senate Committee, Senator Ali had said he only provided his residence for the EFCC to take statements from the indicted Senators, saying that he did not want the Senators to be handcuffed to the EFCC office. He also said he never saw a kobo of the returned bribe money in his residence.

Meanwhile, the failure of the Senate to discuss the report of the investigations of the Senate Committee on Ethics is now a source of concern among committee members who believe that the Senate is suppressing the good work of the committee at the expense of political expediency.

The concern of the committee members, Vanguard learnt, is based on the fact that the Senate was denying the Committee an opportunity of redeeming its name after the Committee allegedly failed to make recommendations on its earlier investigations into the N55 million bribe allegation raised against two Senate principal officers by Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, minister in charge of the Federal Capital Territory.

The Committee and notably, its chairman, Senator Olurunnimbe Mamora, after investigating the el-Rufai allegations were repeatedly harassed by some Senators among whom were the new Senate President, Senator Ken Nnamani. Ahead of the Senate decision on the report into the bribe-for-budget scam, Senator Mamora had promised that the Committee was going to come up with recommendations.

The Committee had in its report to the Senate submitted last Thursday recommended that the indicted Senators step down from their Committee positions. It also recommended various weeks of suspension for Senator Wabara and the other Senators for their alleged complicity in the affair.

Ahead of the deliberation of the Committee report, Senator Mbata resigned his influential position as chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation while the other Senators had followed suit allegedly on being informed of the recommendations of the Ethics Committee.

Senators citing Order 55 (3) of its standing rules had stepped down consideration of the report of the Ethics Committee pending the determination of the case lodged against the indicted Senators in courts.



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Comments (3)

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Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your “evening life is better than evening life”?

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Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.