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Adighije paid to lie –– Indicted Senators

Posted by COSMAS EKPUNOBI, Senate Correspondent on 2005/04/09 | Views: 643 |

Adighije paid to lie –– Indicted Senators


CHAIRMAN, Senate Committee on Education, Senator Ibrahim Abdulazeez and two others indicted in the N55 million budget bribe scandal, alleged yesterday that their colleague, Senator Chris Adighije, was paid to lie against them.

•EFCC quizzes Wabara, Matazu

CHAIRMAN, Senate Committee on Education, Senator Ibrahim Abdulazeez and two others indicted in the N55 million budget bribe scandal, alleged yesterday that their colleague, Senator Chris Adighije, was paid to lie against them.

The senators made this claim just as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) quizzed former Senate President, Chief Adolphus Wabara and Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Education, Dr. Shehu Matazu, over their roles in the alleged scam.

Senators Badamosi Maccido, Emmanuel Okpede and Abdulazeez in fresh testimonies yesterday to the senate Committee on Ethics and Public Petitions however challenged Senator Adighije to come up with evidence to sustantiate his claim that they received money from the dismissed Education Minister, Prof. Fabian Osuji.

Senator Adighije Wednesday gave the detailed account on how the senators named in the scam shared the N55 million budget bribe.

The senator in the submission told the stunned committee that it was the former Senate president Chief Adolphus Wabara, that forced Prof. Osuji to release the N40 million and additional N10 million as interest to the Education Committee.

But Senators Okpade, Abdulazeez and Maccido in their submissions, denied ever participating in the truce-making meeting where the said bribe money was discussed or shared.

While Senator Maccido declared that he will "fight with the drop of his blood to regain his credibility already demoged by the bribe scandal, Senator Okpade alleged that Senator Adighiji was paid to implicate some senators from other geo-political zones so that the scandal would have a national look.

Senator Okpade who said he had never been to Adighije’s house for any reason before, explained that Senator Adighije may have been asked to lie against him the same way he lied in his first statement to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).

According to him Senator Adighije changed his statement to specifically en-roy other innocent persons in the matter.

"I am suprised that Adighije at 60 will still tell lie, and how are we not sure that he was asked by another person to tell a lie against us."

He told the committee that at no time did I go to Osuji to discuss a decision taken by the Education committee."

He however explained that it was Senator Wabara that pleaded with the committee to grant Osuji audience after the minister had protested the decision of the committee about the ministry.

He did not disclose the decision taken against the ministry but said that was his last assignment as the vice chairman of the committee.

But Senator Maccido who was rather emotional in his submission yesterday told that committee that he did not benefit from the said bribe, adding however that he would not be intimidated by the allegation.

Chairman of the Education committee in his submission said he did not at any point gave the sum of N10million to this committee secretary, Mrs. Ngozi Obichere.

Senator Maman Ali in his defence, said he did lure Chris Adighije to return the said N55 million to EFCC, but admitted that it was in his Apo house that the EFCC took the statement of Chief Wabara, Adighije and others.

According to him the meeting was arranged by the minority leader Senator Lawal Shalbu, who said it will be dehumanizing to drag them to EFCC.

Meanwhile, both Wabara and Matazu who were said to have been quizzed by EFCC, were billed to appear before the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petition, yesterday, but were yet to make appearance as at press time because "they have a date with EFCC."

Chairman of the committee, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, told the stunned forum yesterday that he was in touch with both Chief Wabara and Dr. Matazu who, he said, assured to appear before the committee as soon as they finished their submission to the EFCC.

According to him, "I heard from government authority that both lawmakers are guests to the EFCC but Dr. Matazu, as at last time called, himself promised to appear before us."

Senator Mamora who was still expecting the due as at press time yesterday, however, promised to conclude his committee’s investigation today (Friday).

According to him, the committee report on the alleged N55 million bribe scandal will be presented to the senate next week for consideration.

He did not however explain whether Prof. Osuji, Senator Wabara and Dr. Matazu would be sanctioned if they failed to appear before the committee.

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

Actually translates to bravehearted.