The Campaign for Democracy (CD) on Saturday, 25 March, 2023, urged the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practice and Other Offences Commission (ICPC) to earnestly fight and prevent corruption in the incoming 10th National Assembly.
The CD, in a statement by its General Secretary, Comrade Ifeanyi Odili, in Abuja, asked the EFCC and ICPC to urgently probe an alleged ‘bribery’ involving a ranking Senator and 70 senators-elect for the 10th Senate.
A section of the media last week reported a meeting between a senator and about 70-Senators-elect where about $10,000 each was shared to each of the attendees.
Odili said: “We have it through our impeccable source that some ranking Senators have started using their ill-gotten wealth to woe the returning Senators and the new members who have just received their certificates of return from the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC last week with dollars and other hard currencies in other to win their votes when electing principal officers of the NASS.
“If we allow these politicians to use money to induce the newly elected members of the 10th National assembly, the nation will not really get it right again.
“We are afraid that such practice could plunge the nation into another round of quagmire and the leadership of the National Assembly will not be able to join hands with the Executive to fight corruption headlong since they are products of corruption. It takes a corrupt Senator to lobby positions with money.
“We have reliably gathered that aspirants for the position of the Senate Presidency have started reaching out to both returning and newly elected Senators with huge amount of hard currencies with a view to getting their vote on assumption of office come June, 2023.
“The EFCC and the ICPC should, as a matter of urgency, swing into action and probe the disturbing phenomenon to save our nascent democracy.
“The anti-graft agencies my also ensure that no Senator that is facing corruption charges or have pending cases in court is allowed to take a sensitive position in the 10th Senate.
“They must all be thoroughly checked and cleared before they are allowed to contest any of these sensitive positions, most importantly, that of the Senate President.
“Most worrisome, some of the Senators are still having cases at the courts ranging from money laundering and other corruption cases.
“This, we are poised to resist, if we must rid Nigeria of corruption which has become very endemic in our body system. We want Senators whose track records at the Senate are unblemish.
“We wonder why the aspirant who is already giving out dollars failed to queue behind the zoning arrangements which will give room for equity, fairness and Justice.
“Drawing from the above, the anti graft agencies must live up to people’s expectations by moving in and foreclose any possibility of turning the 10th Senate to den of corruption.
“It is critical to note that Senate presidency and other sensitive positions are not for sale if we want the nation to come out of its economic doldrum: stagnation or depression.”
Source: The Nation