A civil society organisation, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has called for dispassionate probe into the allegation of $600,000 bribe against a key member of the House of Representatives Ad Hoc committee on Fuel Subsidy.
A statement issued to the media signed by the Executive Director of CISLAC, Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, called on the National Assembly and the executive arm of government not to let the current scandal serve as a straw to bury the probe report under the carpet.
“We are sad to note that all what government is mouthing on war against corruption has not gone beyond mere rhetoric. We are aware of a thousand and one cases including the Halliburton scandal, the pension fraud, and the BPE scam, among others that government has literally swept under the carpet. This accounts for our poor ranking in yearly Transparent International’s Corruption Perception Index.
“In this latest case which is a sequel to the gargantuan fuel subsidy fraud, we are not unmindful of the possibility of a hand of a fifth columnist especially from those indicted by the report who may go to (any length ) in order to rubbish an exercise that was widely applauded by Nigerians in view of the nasty dealings it uncovered ” CISLAC said .
The CSO therefore admonished the leadership of the House to “urgently institute thorough investigation into the alleged bribe and involve anti-graft agencies to also probe the circumstances and veracity of all claims and counter-claims. There should be no sacred cow”
CISLAC however warned that the outcome of the probe panel should not be tampered with and should be implemented to the latter by the federal government as “there was nothing fishy to suggest that the report was doctored in any way.”
The pro-democracy CSO cautioned that “any attempt to (foot-drag) in implementing the report as endorsed by the larger House would be viewed by us in the civil society and the larger public as a lame excuse being sponsored by the government to thwart the entire report.
“It should be noted that the 7thSession of the House of Representatives enjoys tremendous respect and goodwill from the public thus far. It should therefore shun sentiment and do all that needed to be done to clear its name from this odious allegation.
“The two should be treated independently and dispassionately. Probe into the allegation of this current scandal should not in any way be used as excuse to let those who looted the country in the name of subsidy to go scot-free,” the statement said.
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