By Cecilia Ijuo
Abuja – The Senate has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to call the Chairman, Presidential Action Committee on Anti-Corruption (PACAC), Prof. Itse Sagay, to order over falsehood against the National Assembly.
In a statement by its spokesman, Sen. Sabi Abdullahi, on Thursday in Abuja, the Senate stated that Sagay was fond of using every opportunity to make public speeches to disparage the federal legislature.
According to it, Sagay is in the habit of using uncouth and unprintable words to describe the legislators and the institution they represented.
It said that Sagay had been one of the few divisive elements in the Buhari administration, who believed their relevance was enhanced only when they created constant tension between the legislature and the executive.
The statement noted that while legislators had ignored past statements by the professor of law, his recent speech at a public lecture in Lagos organised by the Society of International Law was unacceptable.
It said that Sagay gave false details about the salaries and allowances of legislators.
“Ordinarily, we would ignore Sagay whose statements and attitude present him like a rascal and sadist instead of a former university teacher.
” However, his last speech in Lagos during which he was reeling out false and exaggerated figures about the salaries and allowances of legislators cannot be ignored.
”He also lied about the passage of anti-corruption bills, indicating that he is set out to deliberately undermine the legislative institution and lower its reputation in the estimation of right-thinking members of the society.
”At this point, we believe we should put him in his rightful place.
“As an academic whose creed should be to find facts and make comments based on truth, we believe that Sagay should stop spreading beer parlour rumours about salaries and allowances of legislators.
“He could simply get the facts from the Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Allocation Commission (RMFAC).
”This is the body constitutionally charged with the responsibility of fixing salaries and allowances of all public officials.
“Let us make it clear that our salaries and allowances are open books and the details can be taken from the RMFAC by any interested party,’’ the senate said.
It added that Sagay also made comparisons which did little credit to him as he talked of the salary of the United States President and that of a Nigerian legislator.
According to it, the comparison was based on street talks.
“Sagay could not even check the records before proclaiming that the National Assembly has not passed a single bill for the promotion of anti-corruption war since it commenced business in July, 2015.
”First, the 8th National Assembly was inaugurated on June 9, 2015 not July.
“Also, it is on record that the Senate has passed the Whistle Blowers’ Protection Bill, Witness Protection Bill, Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Agency Bill.
”With an easily excited man like him as head of an advisory body, the nation has continued to lose anti-corruption cases in courts due to the failure of his advice.
”He needs to do more work and talk less because media prosecution cannot win the war on corruption,” the upper chamber stated.
The Senate therefore called on the president to stop Sagay from further creating needless tension in the relationship between the executive and the legislature. (NAN)