The Senate on Tuesday declared that none of its members received N20 million COVID-19 palliative from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Recall that the Director of Projects, Interim Management Committee of the NDDC, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, had alleged in a recent newspaper interview that the agency gave N20 million to each senator, while each member of the House of Representatives collected N15 million as palliative.
But the spokesperson for the Senate, Sen. Ajibola Basiru, denied Ojougboh’s claims in a statement titled, “NDDC boss says senators got N20m, Reps N15m each for COVID–19 – a disclaimer,” challenged Ojougboh to either release the full list of the lawmakers who benefitted from the palliative or tender a public apology immediately.
The statement read in part: “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-19 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 an immediate retraction and a public apology from Dr Cairo Ojougboh.”