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House of Reps denies discontinuation of ‘NDDC probe allegation’



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The House of Representatives has denied allegation by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that it has discontinued the probe of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and other parastatals of government that are currently being investigated for fraud.

The denial was contained in a statement issued by the House leader, Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa on Monday, saying, the current leadership of the lower chamber was mindful of its integrity in the conduct of legislative activities.

It said: “On other investigations into government agencies including Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust (NSITF), the review of the Nigerian Power Sector as well as all other allegations of corruption in government expenditure, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s), have not in any way been discontinued as alleged by the PDP as all the pending investigations will continue as the House reconvenes.

“The House under the vibrant and responsive leadership of Rt. Hon. Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila would remain focused, committed and well-guided in safeguarding our institutional integrity, without necessarily jeopardising our good working relationship with the Buhari led popular government.

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“And, in fact, the PDP lacks the moral standing to accuse the leadership of the House for abetting corruption or protecting questionable officials from the ongoing investigation. For us in the APC, fighting the menace of corruption by prosecuting corrupt individuals has been the cardinal objective of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

“Therefore, to vindicate the administration and leadership of the House, for the first time in history, many high-profile individuals including former ministers, former governors and public office holders have been prosecuted and convicted without prejudice or unnecessary reflection on party affiliation.

“It is also good for the PDP to summon the strength to understand that the ongoing investigations and public hearings were all and genuinely initiated by the APC leadership in the House and at no time did the House leadership mull over frustrating same.

“Also, the leadership of the house has observed with great sense of responsibility, the deteriorating working relationship with the Executive arm of Government which was mostly due to misconducts and sometimes deliberate and calculated attempt by some disgruntled government officials to drag the institution of the legislature into needless controversies for political gains. The leadership is therefore poised to rise to this unfortunate occasion with a view to bringing sanity to the system.

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“The fact that we are empowered by the Constitution to oversight government agencies does not in any way mean we should do that with injurious intentions; after all, the wisdom of the oversight duties in the Constitution was NOT to engage in a bickering with the Executive.

“However, the House leadership has come to realize that this flimsy and trumped up accusations from the opposition PDP has rather exposed their blind and visionless political desperations to cause crisis in the polity by using some of its members in the House to foment trouble between the Executive and the APC controlled National Assembly.

“As a parliament, our business will continue to be guided by the principle of collective responsibility and collective ownership of governance and government processes at all levels.

“At this point, I must also make it clear that the House of Representatives has no clandestine plans or motives to cover up any corrupt engagement or business of the government. But as rational and progressive members, we are indeed committed to our partnership with Buhari administration to fight corruption in all ramifications, and provide good governance.

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“Consequently, it must be borne in mind that gone are those seasons when the LEGISLATIVE arm of Government would be stampeded or used by the so-called opposition forces to discredit, undermine or malign our own government.

“Let me also use this medium to thank and commend our respected colleagues across the divides for their understanding, resilience and unprecedented support to the leadership of the House under Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila. The steps we have taken recently are with the best of intentions and in the best interest of the House. It is our hope that you would continue to help to sustain the tempo so that together we can bring sanity and grace to the Legislature and to further salvage its institutions.

“Also, we shall take Nigeria to the desired level. We say No! to all forms of external meddling and intrusion, especially from those driven by sinister or partisan interests.”


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