By Musa Adamu and Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The Senate yesterday at the plenary called on a former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, to name Chairmen of Committee in the National Assembly who demand bribe from Heads of MDAs in the country.
Mr Jega was widely reported in the Media to have said the National Assembly was the bastion of corruption and that President Buhari needed to take the fight against corruption to the National Assembly.
He was also reported to have said that he had been told in confidence, especially by Heads of Tertiary Institutions in the country of how demanding Chairmen of Committees make of them when they come for oversight and or when they appeared before the lawmakers.
Rising under Order 43 of the Senate Procedures Rules, Sen. Isa Hamman Misau, who claimed his privilege had breached recalled that the former Chairman of electoral umpire made the statement at an event to mark Democracy Day.
He further recalled that during the event which was televised live to homes both in Nigeria and abroad, Prof Jega said he had been told by several Heads of MDAs and especially, Heads of Tertiary Institutions in the country of the horrible experiences they passes through Chairmen of some committees.
He said at this event which was attended by the President of Sanete, Speaker of the House of Representatives and President Muhammadu Buhari, Prof. Jega made a blanket statement without naming the erring members, thereby infringing on his privilege.
Sen. Misau said: “That program was televised live and was watched all over the world. I fill Mr Jega should come forward and help throw more light on this by naming these chairmen he referred to.”
In his intervention, Sen Saraki said he was embarrassed like any other persons present when Prof Jega made the statement.
He said: “I was at the event and we felt embarrassed and I must say it was an unfortunate statement. We believe if he has such evidence he should have first come forward with such evidence and not to use such public forum to make a blanket statement. For a man of his standing in the society it is easy for Nigerians to take his statement to mean the entire assembly is filled with thieves. So if he cannot make further clarification I believe the issue should laid to rest.”