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Senate condemns watchdog indicting NASS principal officers



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The Senate has denied that the leadership of the National Assembly received N600 million from the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), for principal officers’ accommodation.
According to an online report by a group, Citizen Action to Take Back Nigeria, CATBAN,  Senate President Bukola Saraki; his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, and his deputy, Lasun Yusuf, collected over N600 million from the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, for rent.
Denying the allegation while briefing journalists in Abuja Thursday, the Chairman, Committee on Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Dino Melaye, said that the social media released “a very fake report last week.”
“The four presiding officers of the National Assembly collect no rent from the FCDA or any other Federal Government agency for that matter,” he said.
Melaye described the group as “briefcase Civil Society Organisation that is not registered by law in Nigeria; it is not known or heard; it was hurriedly packaged to do assassin job on the social media”.
He said that as chairman of the committee, he had put his integrity on test to say that no kobo had been collected by any of the presiding officers from the FCDA.
“Those who know how government bureaucracy works know that it is practically impossible for any of the presiding officers to collect money directly from the FCDA.
“It should be noted that while Senators Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu as well as Honourable Yakubu Dogara and Lasun Yusuf are entitled to well-furnished accommodation by virtue of their positions.
“If you recall, the President of the Senate insisted last year that the N10 billion which the FCDA put in the 2016 budget for the completion of the official residences of the Senate President and Speaker be removed from the budget to save cost,” he said.
Melaye, however, advised the sponsors of the group to verify their information, saying they got the one in contention wrong.
 “I challenge this group to provide evidence in terms of transfers on how any of the presiding officers benefited financially from the FCDA.”