Itse Sagay, Shehu Sani squabble after senator’s controversial demand

Shehu Sani [Source: Deltabreed]
Shehu Sani [Source: Deltabreed]

Shehu Sani, the Senator heading the committee whose investigation led to the suspension of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, has called for the dissolution of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption, chaired by Itse Sagay.

Mr. Sani, APC-Kaduna, made the call on Thursday, saying the Sagay-led committee was incompetent, having allegedly defended Mr. Lawal as being without guilt.

PREMIUM TIMES fact-check, however, showed Mr. Sani made the call on false premise.

“President Muhammadu Buhari should as a matter of urgency dissolve his Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption,” said Mr. Sani. “It is a moribund and irrelevant assemblage.”

“A Presidential Advisory Committee headed by a man who defended the SGF is without honour.

“The chairman of the committee attacked me for my report on PINE; now that the president has taken steps in the direction of the committee’s report, I hope the professor will muster the courage to also attack the president. The advisory committee was looking for corruption in Sokoto while it’s there in `shokoto’.

“It is sad that most of the mercenary forces hired to rubbish the integrity of the Senate committee and defend those indicted have suddenly lost their voices.”

‘Itse Sagay Hits Back… ‘Shehu Sani Is Ignorant’ 

In a telephone interview with PREMIUM TIMES after Mr. Sani’s comment Thursday evening, Mr. Sagay, professor of Law and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, said Mr. Sani was ‘speaking out of sheer ignorance’.

“My committee did not support the Secretary to the Government of the Federation,” said Mr. Sagay. “We didn’t have any official view on that.”

“Personally,” he added, “I did not express an opinion” when the Senate first indicted Mr. Lawal.

He continued, “My view really is that he (Mr. Sani) is smarting on behalf of the Senate that we have sustained our support for Magu and as a result of that support Magu remains in office, and will continue to do his job of clearing corruption which the Senate is not happy about because they want the corruption to stay.

“And it sounds very ill for Senate to say that anybody has no integrity. They have no basis to say that because their own situation as far is integrity is concerned is the most deplorable in the country. It sounds bad in their mouth to say somebody has no integrity.”

After President Muhammadu Buhari suspended Mr. Lawal over allegations of breach of law and due process in the contracts awarded by the Presidential Initiative on North East, PREMIUM TIMES sought Mr. Sagay’s view.

“It is the correct thing to do,’ he replied.

“One does not need to express it publicly. My view has always been that he should resign or be sacked because the issues are so clear.”

He said one of the highest officials in the country awarded contracts to himself, which is contrary to the constitution.

“I know at the end of the day he will have to go.”

Fact-Check

PREMIUM TIMES reviewed the claims by the senator and the septuagenarian lawyer, known for harsh views on the Nigerian Senate.

Our independent checks revealed Mr. Sani based his call for the dissolution of Mr. Sagay’s committee on false ground.

Mr. Sagay did not express support for Mr. Lawal at any time, neither did he attack Mr. Sani for his report on Mr. Lawal nor the Senate for asking Mr. Buhari to sack and prosecute the now suspended SGF.

Rather, Mr. Sagay slammed Mr. Sani for attacking and accusing Mr. Buhari of treating corruption in the executive arm with ‘deodorant’.

Then, Mr. Sagay said Mr. Sani’s blistering remark on Mr. Buhari was based on politics.

He in fact denied having much knowledge about the SGF.

“I don’t know too much about the Secretary to the Federal Government, I must confess that. I don’t know much about that,” the professor said then.

“But I know the case of Magu thoroughly. And the allegations are spurious. There is no reality in them. The whole thing was distorted to give a wrong impression about Magu,” said Mr. Sagay on January 26.


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  • Sam

    Don’t mind the midget called sani. To him everything is politics.

    • Abu

      Lol, you are right. He is always the bride at the wedding and the corpse at the funeral

    • Kallah Bature

      I am utterly disappointed​ by Sen.Sani for not checking his facts before making spurious allegations.I now know why El-Rufai is keeping this unstable character at arm length.A man who hanged on the alter of activism to cling on PMB’s popularity to win election should live above board.

  • DD

    Mr. Sani go and cut your hair. It seems there are lice in it and it’s clouding your thoughts.

    • Emeka

      If I be barber I nogo touch dat forest wen him carry 4 head, because “Anaconda” dey dia…

  • Segun Adeoye

    Sagay’s usefulness has expired! He now spewed thrash from that ugly fat mouth!
    Agbaya oshi.

    • new republic

      Omode to so pe enu agba nrun,omode yen ko le to agba,you raised curse on you head

    • Terras

      “Sagay’s usefulness has expired!” in the eyes of the corrupt elements and their supporters!

    • Octagon

      You’re an empty headed moron.

    • absam777

      Disgraceful comment of a desperado.

    • chigozie

      U don’t talk abt elders with such a contempt. Prof. Sagay has distinguished himself in all ramifications. We pray to get close to his level.

  • Madiba

    Why is Shehu Sani that couldnt ever win any election but for Buhari’s bandwagon effect always spewing rubbish.

  • Gerald Okoduwa

    What is this ‘clean’ senator’s view about being presided over in the senate by a Senate President facing criminal trial in a court of law? If Senator Shehu Sani is so outstanding, why has he not rebelled against the budget secrecy in the National Assembly and publish all his own allowances as a man of integrity? If a questionable character is your boss and you do not see anything wrong with that, it speaks volumes about your own credibility. Lawal has committed wrong for which he must be punished, but that doesn’t make senate, whose majority of members are on trial for corruption, an organisation of integrity. The pot should stop calling kettle black.

    • Don’t Forget

      My dear, what of Mr Prof? What did he do when a member of his committee was caught in examination malpractice?

  • Arabakpura

    Sometimes, the man Shehu Sani talks and behaves like a boy! Those Saraki Assembly men know how to belittle that place once called senate!

  • Idris

    Is Sagay telling us DSS distorted the report which indicted Magu? I wonder the type of Senior Advocate this man is! He talks recklessly and carelessly. Is that how Senior Advocates are meant to behave in public space? Because he has been appointed into an advisory committee, he now has the effrontery to rubbish and castigate the work of another constituted authority. Or is the DSS now doing the bidding of the Saraki-led Senate? Judging from Sagay’s posture?

    • Octagon

      Don’t be a ridiculous moron. If you have carefully followed the reports including Magu’s rebuttal it is obvious that the DSS’s report has no substance and Itse Sagay, one of the view remaining stalwarts against corruption has a right to criticise the despicable wretched creatures in the senate.

  • Spoken word

    Looks like Sani is turning mad.i can not take anybody supporting Saraki seriously.

  • javscong javscong

    Now that PT has Fact Checked Sani’s statement, I call on Sani to retract his statement and apologise to Prof. Itse-Sagay. I think that is an honourable thing to do.

    • Victor Ntekim

      Apologize to incompetent man who has turned himself to EFCC’s spokesman? Never

  • JasV

    What do you expect from a boko haram agent?

    • oyoko

      but, wait a minute. dis sani man was all over the place before this Govt came, that he knows where to locate boko haram leaders; he even volunteer leading Govt negotiators to boko haram. what has change since he became a senator. #BBOG should beam their agitation to people like this senator to release these girls for us.

  • Victor Ntekim

    Oh! See what political appointment has turned Sagay into, he has suddenly become ignorant of the law. Sagay is now a ghost of his former self, he doesn’t want to hear rule of law anymore. He responds to every matter and issue on presidency, EFCC, Magu, APC, etc as if he is now their spokesman. He wants to prove that though old, he is active and relevant for this government. As for the committee he heads, they are just directionless and moribund, very irrelevant but collecting salaries. He used to believe that an accused remains innocent until competent court says otherwise but today, Sagay believes in media trial and conviction before trial. What has politics done to my SAN? See the way he ignorantly challenge everyone who dares ask question about Magu, as if he is so sure that Magu is an angel who cannot sin, as if he is God to know what magu can and cannot do. This shear ignorance compromising attitude is fuelled by his hatred for the senate. It was this same conviction they had about SSG Lawal that made them clear him the first time. As the senators were right in the case of Lawal, they will be vindicated again in the case of Magu and Sagay will be put to shame. “Two heads are better than one”, the few executive members cannot be more right than the 109 senators and 360 Reps Members.

    • realist

      You are not saying what is in the minds of right thinking people.

      • Dejandon

        Ouch!

  • persona

    Sani thinks he is always right and we all have a short memory. Sagay has made his position clear and Sani deserves to apologize.
    In the words of Sani, the senate is now the one using deodorant to sanitize the senate. More than 15 senators facing corruptions charges and without a transparent budget, the joke is on them.

  • Jacky

    Shehu Sani is very corrupt. A pretender who claims to be working for the down trodden; when in the actual sense, he is a strong supporter of Saraki and a defender of the huge corruption in the senate because he pockets tens of millions every month. He is PDP (body & spirit) and thinks he is deceiving us but we’ll see him in the next election round.

  • Damilola

    When intellectual decline and hypocrisy is examined in the nearest future- probably by the generation of Sagay’s great grandchildren, his name together with the likes of Soyinka, Falana and Co shall not miss the instances “copiously”. With this pple, a Dictators and marauders can always be legitimized

    • Arkhuma

      So, in your view, give me a name of someone alive who has been exposed to the trappings of governance in Nigeria and still had higher integrity like those you just mentioned. Just one name of a Nigerian who has steadfastly fought for a just society than these people even when they can really serve in any government including that of GEJ. If identifying with a person you believe is trying to be different from the usual rogues we are used to is now termed hypocrisy, then it is very unfortunate. I suppose in your books, we shall find the likes of GEJ, Fani Kayode, Ezekhome, Olisa Metuh et al. May history also capture this warped sense of reasoning you and your ilk also project for your grand children to see how “brilliant” their forebears are.

      • Damilola

        Lmao…..i de laugh seriously. Integrity is not that cheap brother. We’re defined by what we stand for not what we’re against. These men stand for nothing. Condemning all other govts, especially during the military, for any reason and coming at this time to aid boda Buhaha’s failure,ineptitude and cluelessness is a story of fan that never knew the power is off but still rolling. It has lost its sense and purpose, for the same hardship and pains they claim to fight against the people is far more the vogue thing under a living-dead headship they hypocritically nurtured. U don’t worry about my views nw. History will judge this men am sure.