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COVID-19: NASS members deny receiving N7.58bn palliatives from NDDC

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COVID-19: NASS members deny receiving N7.58bn palliatives from NDDC

Members of the National Assembly, have denied receiving N7, 580, 000, 000 as palliatives from the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC at the heat of the deadly coronavirus pandemic in the country.

Executive Director (Projects) of the NDDC, Dr. Cairo Ojuogboh, had in an interview with a national daily accused the National Assembly of being “culpable” in the sleaze contracts awarded by the commission upon which its officials are now being investigated by the legislature.

Ojuogboh also alleged that the senators and members of the House of Representatives were beneficiaries of COVID-19 palliatives from NDDC.

“In the National Assembly, each of the Senators got N20 million, while the House of Representatives members got N15 million for COVID-19 from the National Assembly,” Ojuogboh said.

But the chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Ajibola Basiru, in a statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja, denied the allegation that members of both chambers of the National Assembly received the sum of N20million and N15million each as COVID-19 palliative from the commission, challenging Ojuogboh to provide evidence to back up his claim.

He, therefore, dared the Executive Director to provide the names of lawmakers who were beneficiaries of the said palliative, or immediately retract his statement alongside tendering an apology to the National Assembly in the absence of evidence to backup his claims.

The statement reads: “The Senate views with grave concern a statement credited to Dr Cairo Ojougboh, the Executive Director, Projects of the NDDC who alleged that National Assembly members received varying sums of money as COVID-19 palliative. The Senate hereby disclaims the allegation in its entirety.

“The Senate categorically denies that any Senator collected the sum of N20 million or any sum whatsoever from NDDC as Covid relief fund of for any purpose whatsoever.

“The Senate challenges Dr Ojougboh to publicly provide evidence of his claim and list the names of the Senators he allegedly gave the alleged sum.

“Failure to provide evidence of his claim, the Senate hereby demands immediate retraction and public apology from Dr. Cairo Ojougboh,” the Senate spokesman said.

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