Senate committee denies N2bn bribe allegation

The joint Senate Committee mandated by the Senate to investigate the management and administration of pension funds in the country has denied an allegation that the committee demanded N2 billion in bribes from the Pension Reform Task Team.


The joint committee is made up of two senate committees, Establishment and Public Service and States and Local Government Affairs.


The Chairman of the joint committee, Aloysius Etuk (PDP-Akwa-Ibom), while briefing newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday said a newspaper publication of May 7, credited to the chairman of the task team, Abdulrasheed Maina, had alleged that the committee and its chairman had demanded for a bribe from the task team.


“This committee never requested nor demanded anything from the team,” he said.


He said the publication also said that the committee became biased against Mr. Maina and the task team following his refusal to give the alleged bribe.


According to Mr. Etuk, the committee has been constrained earlier to issue a statement on the offers of bribes to the joint committee by the Maina-led pension task team.


“There were unbearable pressures being mounted on the committee by the task team using various highly placed persons.


“They were requesting for the tilting of this joint committee’s proceedings and final recommendation in favour of the task team to which this committee rejected,” Mr. Etuk claimed.


The joint committee chairman called on the Police, the Independent Corrupt Practises and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and other law enforcement agencies to commence investigations into the bribe allegation.


“If proven to be true, I shall offer myself to be tied to the stake and be shot as an additional antidote to graft and corruption in our society,” he said.


The Committee, in carrying out its duties, has visited the six geopolitical zones of the country to receive submission from pensioners and other stakeholders and concluded the public hearing in Abuja.


The committee is expected to submit its report to the Senate soon.


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