Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory, Senator Dino Melaye, has faulted claims by a civil society group, Citizen Action to Take Back Nigeria (CATBAN), alleging that presiding officer of the National Assembly and their deputies used the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) to collect some amount of money as rent for their accommodation.
Melaye debunked the allegations in a statement issued to newsmen in Abuja.
He noted that although the leadership of the National Assembly was entitled to four well-furnished official accommodation by virtue of their positions, they have chosen to live in their private residences.
According to him, the four presiding officers insisted last year that the N10 billion, which the FCDA put in the 2016 budget for the completion of the official residences of the Senate President and Speaker be removed to save cost and in reflection of the mood of the nation.
The statement reads: “We want to state clearly that the four presiding officers of the National Assembly do not collect any money for rent, furniture and renovation from the FCDA or any federal government agency, for that matter.
“It should be noted that while Senators Abubakar Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu as well as Rt. Hons. Yakubu Dogara and Lasun Yusuff are entitled to well-furnished official accommodation by virtue of their positions, just like the President, Vice President and Chief Justice of Nigeria, they all live in their private residences.
“They even insisted last year that the N10 billion, which the FCDA put in the 2016 budget for the completion of the official residences of the Senate President and Speaker be removed to save cost and in reflection of the mood of the nation.
“It should be noted that this same group, CATBAN, on January 3, 2017, held a press conference where it cleared Mr. Babachir David Lawal, Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), who had been indicted by the Senate for corruption in the award of contracts and utilisation of funds meant for the North East humanitarian crisis. Therefore, we know where they are coming from.
“We advise the sponsors of the group who are holding on to straws as they are drowning in the cesspool of their corrupt practices to always check their information very well as they got it wrong this time again.”