Senate Probe Committee Chairman Demanded N2 billion Bribe,Says Pension Task Team Chairman



More allegations of sleaze in the national assembly are tumbling out.This time, it is the Pension Task Team led by by Abdulrasheed Maina that has sensationally and categorically  accused  Senator Alloysius Etuk  Committee probing the pension scam of lacking “the moral right to continue its work, and must be disbanded immediately”.

A statement today by  Gowon Egbunu media consultant to the Chairman of the PTT (Abdulrashid Maina) said “While the Pension Task Team has no intention whatsoever to malign members of the Senate probe committee, we are compelled to alert the nation on reasons why we are being persecuted given the conduct of the committee so far.”

Maina   alleged specifically that “Senator Etuk demanded a bribe of N2billion for members of the committee to “favourably” investigate the Task Team. His argument was that since the Force reported a recovery of N151billion, some should be “spread around” members.In declining to do their bidding, the committee swore to do the Force’s Chairman, Abdulrasheed Maina in.”

Continuing the PTT statement said “till date; the Team chairman has not been officially invited by the probe committee to make any presentation. Rather, the committee went ahead to do the illegal and unconstitutional by disbanding the Task Team a creation of the Executive arm of government.”

Ogbunu who signed the statement  also said  that “In its desperation to pick holes in the activities of the Team, the Senate probe committee has conducted a tour of the geo-political zones of the country without the knowledge of members of the Task Team. May be, the committee will let the nation know their findings.”

See the full text of  Pension Task Team’s statement below:

 

Office of the Chairman

Pension ReformTask Team

Federal Secretariat, Abuja.

 

PRESS STATEMENT

Why Senate committee is after Pension Task Team

In line with our principled position in handling matters, especially as they affect our national interest, the Pension Task Team wishes to alert the nation on the manifest bias of the Senate probe committee against the Force and its members.

For clarity sake, it must be underscored that against the backdrop repeated cases of mismanagement of the country’s pension funds vis-à-vis the fate of retirees who should to be beneficiaries of the Pension Scheme already in place, the Executive arm of the federal government constituted the Pension Task Team with a clear mandate to restructure the country’s pension system.

With membership drawn from respectable organisations including the EFCC, ICPC, State Security Service, Office of the Accountant General, Auditor General and Attorney General of the Federation, there has been no doubt that there are individual and institutional reputations represented in the Task Team.

Though the Force has no reason to query the constitutional right of the Senate to perform its over sight functions like conducting probes like the ongoing one, it must be noted that like Caesar’s wife, its affairs must be on high moral grounds.

However from its conduct so far, the Task Team has every reason to hold that the Senator Aloysius Etuk probe committee lacks the moral right to continue its work, and must be disbanded immediately. Our reasons are not far-fetched.

While the Pension Task Team has no intention whatsoever to malign members of the Senate probe committee, we are compelled to alert the nation on reasons why we are being persecuted given the conduct of the committee so far.

  1. 1.      Senator Etuk demanded a bribe of N2billion for members of the committee to “favourably” investigate the Task Team. His argument was that since the Force reported a recovery of N151billion, some should be “spread around” members.

In declining to do their bidding, the committee swore to do the Force’s Chairman, Abdulrasheed Maina in.

  1. 2.      It therefore followed naturally why till date; the Team chairman has not been officially invited by the probe committee to make any presentation. Rather, the committee went ahead to do the illegal and unconstitutional by disbanding the Task Team a creation of the Executive arm of government.

Instructively, the House of Representatives has since reminded the Senate committee that it over-stepped its mandate by such action. The Task Team too, does not recognize the pronouncement; and we are continuing with our good work of making life better for the nation’s senior citizens.

  1. 3.      In its desperation to pick holes in the activities of the Team, the Senate probe committee has conducted a tour of the geo-political zones of the country without the knowledge of members of the Task Team. May be, the committee will let the nation know their findings.

These and other under-the-table dealings of the committee have since informed the Task Team’s position to reject the outcome of the Senate committee probe even before it concludes its assignment. In fact, we call for its disbandment having misapplied its mandate.  Justice and fairness are valued qualities of leaders which we want to see manifested by the Senate committee before Nigerians will have faith in their probes and investigations.

And if the committee’s probe is for the sole aim of rubbishing the Task Team chairman, we see it as a misguided journey to nowhere as the several accolades and commendations by worthy organisations and individual attest to the abilities and focus of the chairman.

Gowon Egbunu

Media Consultant to the Chairman

08065705896; email: [email protected]

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