A N1 billion bribe-for-protection allegation reminiscent of the Otedola-Farouk scandal during the probe into fuel subsidy payments by the House of Representatives last year, is currently rocking the Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service chaired by Senator Aloysius Etok from Akwa Ibom State.
The latest scandal, which emanates from a former director, Pensions Account in the Office of the Head of Service (HoS) of the Federation, Dr Teidi Shuaibu, who is presently being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), indicates that the pension thief allegedly gave N1 billion to Senator Etok “for protection and to give him ‘a soft landing.’”
It would be recalled that in 2012, the Senate mandated a joint committee comprising Establishment and Public Service and States and Local Governments Administration to investigate the administration of pension funds in the country.
The committee came out with shocking revelations on how civil servants had been siphoning pension funds to the tune of N159 billion although the committee ran into troubled waters with head of the Presidential Task Force Team on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina on the exact amount that was missing.
However, Mr. Shuaibu, in a petition he wrote to the EFCC dated 30 September, 2013 stated that in the course of the committee’s probe, he gave Etok N1billion to shield him from prosecution. To perfect the deal, Teidi affirmed in his petition that the senator received N400 million in cash and equipment.
The petition, which was signed on his behalf by his lawyer and personal assistant, Mr T. E. Okocha and Dr R. Afuzie, respectively, Mr. Shuaibu insisted that the senator initially collected N50 million and another $200, 000 and later took delivery of cars, landed property and industrial equipment to scuttle the probe by the joint committee.
Furthermore, Mr. Shuaibu revealed that the senator requested and got two brand new Mercedes Benz cars, including a 2010 Model Coupe, a D8 Caterpillar, a 33-litre capacity petroleum tanker and an additional $200,000 for his oversight function.
The petition said that in return, Senator Etok was alleged to have persuaded Mr. Shuaibu to attend the Senate public hearing, which held last July, with a promise that he was going to use him as a prosecution witness in the attempt at nailing pension thieves.
But the senator, who is facing an uphill task of returning to the upper chamber of the National Assembly in 2015 as Governor Godswill Akpabio is reportedly eyeing the Akwa Ibom North-West/Ikot Ekpene Senatorial seat occupied by Etok, has dismissed the allegation, insisting that since the matter was with the anti-graft commission, he is awaiting its “invitation.”
He also described the allegation as baseless, ridiculous and laughable, adding that it was “a calculated political attempt coming from certain quarters to tarnish my image.
“I read the newspaper publication but I would not want to say anything more than the fact that the allegation is not true. I don’t want to make any further comment since they claimed that the petition is now before the EFCC.
“I am only awaiting a formal invitation from the anti-graft body since the petition is before them. I will make myself available for questioning whenever the EFCC deems it fit to invite me. But the allegation border on cheap lies and it is baseless, ridiculous and laughable.”
Mr. Shuaibu is standing trial for his alleged involvement in an N18.3 billion pension fund scam alongside others charged with similar offence.
Sanwo-Olu Names Building After Tinubu, Warns Youths Against Vandalism
This was made known in a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Gboyega Akosile.
Sanwo-Olu also named the Agboyi-Ketu LCDA after the late Senator of Lagos East Senatorial District, Adebayo Osinowo.
He stated that the recent #EndSARS protests brought out the need for the government to double their efforts and prioritize youth development and empowerment.
Also Read: No Pardon For Rapists, Says Sanwo-Olu
The governor however warned youths against the destruction of the government’s assets built with public funds.
Sanwo-Olu disclosed that the decision of the council leadership in Agboyi-Ketu to name the edifice after Osinowo testified to the contributions he made to the development of the council.
PDP Governor, Matawalle Commends Umahi For Joining APC
Governor Matawalle who is a governor on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) attributed Mr Umahi’s decamping to “bad blood in the present Peoples Democratic Party.”
Governor Matawalle made this comment in a statement issued by his spokesperson, Zailani Bappa, on Friday.
He expressed that he would rather commend Umahi for “his bold decision rather than condemn him because everyone feels welcome only in a house where he feels comfortable.”
You Are A Worthy Successor, Aregbesola Tells Oyetola
In a congratulatory statement in Osogbo on Friday to mark Oyetola’s second anniversary, the Minister said the Osun governor has weathered the storm of governance effectively.
Aregbesola wrote: “I write to congratulate you on the second anniversary of your administration.
“I look back with pride and nostalgia the hard-fought battle of your election and the continuation of progressive administration in the State of Osun.
Also Read: Oyetola Bans Sales Of School Uniforms
“There have been challenges along the line – the inclement national financial weather, the COVID-19 pandemic and others not so significant. But you have weathered the storm admirably and steadied the ship of state.
“The challenges will no doubt present a new format as you step into the third year. These are heightened political participation, pressure to deliver more dividends of democracy and increased demands from the political system. I have no doubt that you will cope nicely.
“Please continue to make the welfare of the people your biggest concern. They are the reason for the state. Without them there will be no government or any political office to occupy.
“Once again, congratulations, as I wish you a resounding success in office and every aspect of life.
“My kind regards to the good wife, Alhaja Kafayat Oyetola and the entire cabinet of the State of Osun.”
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