CSOs call on N'Assembly to prosecute Senate Clerk, others for alleged official records falsification
Posted by News Express | 21 December 2021 | 352 times
•Senate President Ahmad Lawan
Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) under the aegis of Civil Society Organisations for Justice and Equity (CCSO-JE) have called on the National Assembly to sanction and prosecute the Clerk of the Senate and two other secretaries over their involvement in an alleged falsification of official records of service as confirmed by the National Assembly official secret records.
The organisations at a media briefing yesterday, listed the affected Officers as Okpara Michael Nnaechi (Secretary Planning & Legislative Budget); Dauda Ibrahim El-Ladan (Clerk Senate) and Adebanjo Anthony Ademola(Secretary, Special Duties).
The Chief Convener, Olayemi Success, who spoke on behalf of the CSOs said the integrity of the 2022 budget could be jeopardised because the officials involved in the alleged criminal act cannot be trusted to compute figures in the country’s 2022 Appropriation Bill.
They also said the legislative arm of government had failed to follow the correct procedure in suspending all alleged officers as soon as they were charged before the Federal High Court in Abuja on October 21, 2021, as stated in a petition filed by Masalaha Law and Associates.
According to them, there were allegations that the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan had been doing everything within his power, to cover and protect the accused persons for his inordinate ambition of pocketing the National Assembly Service Commission as evidenced in the referral made to the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions.
The CSOs while calling on Lawan to refrain from intervening on the matter and to let the law take its course, warned that if these officials were not prosecuted, there would be widespread protests.
The groups called on President Buhari to immediately call Lawan to order so that the glaring case of corruption and criminal falsification of official records in the National Assembly does not tannish his image and that of his administration.
They further called on the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) to not only to fish out such elements with criminal tendencies and records within their folds and as well ensure they are sanctioned in line with the ethics of their respective professions.
The organisations added: “In an earlier petitions dated November 16, 2021 by Masalaha Law and Associates, where the leadership of the legislative arm of government were accused for failing to apply the right procedure in suspending the alleged Officers as soon as they were charged before the Federal High Court, Abuja on 21st October, 2021.
“We considered this as a flagrant abuse of office by the National Assembly Service Commission for condoning naked and gross misconduct by their favorite Officers’ which is nothing but tantamount to aiding and abetting in the act of corruption; criminal forgery; and falsification of official records in the National Assembly of the Federation.
“We argued that if the National Assembly could fold its arms and fail to send the accused individuals who falsified and forged official records to where they belong, it is a dent to the anti-corruption toga of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
“A further report was written by the National Assembly as requested by the Nigeria Police dated November 22, 2020, issuing a Certified True Copy (CTC) and having received the CTC as mentioned above, the State Intelligence Bureau (SIB) of the Nigeria Police wrote another letter requesting the release of the above named persons (Staff), dated the 27th November, 2020, acknowledged received by the office of Clerk of National Assembly on the 2nd December, 2020.
“However, to the surprise and consternation of the entire staff of the National Assembly and the world at large, nothing was ever heard of this matter again, a situation which has emboldened the above named persons (Staff) and which may unquestionably set a bad precedence for all and sundry.
“In the petition, it categorically stated that it is both illegal and unconstitutional to falsify record and or commit forgery by not just any Public Officer but more so in the law making arm of the society… if allowed unchecked this will further entrench the rumors that Nigeria is fast becoming the capital of corruption in the world.” (THISDAY)