The Senate has denied claims that none of its members received ₦20m COVID-19 palliative from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), DAILY TIMES gathered.
The statement was in response to claims that the Director of Projects, Interim Management Committee of the NDDC, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, made in a recent newspaper interview that the agency gave ₦20m to each senator while each of the House of Representatives members collected ₦15m as palliative.
The Spokesperson for the Senate, Dr. Ajibola Basiru, refuted Ojougboh’s claims in a statement titled, “NDDC boss says senators got ₦20m, Reps ₦15m each for COVID-19 – a disclaimer’ on Tuesday.
Basiru challenged Ojougboh to either release the full list of the lawmakers, who benefitted from the palliative or tender a public apology immediately.
The statement read in part, “The Senate views with grave concern a statement credited to Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, the Executive Director, Projects of the NDDC, who alleged that National Assembly members received varying sums of money as COVID-19 palliative.
“The Senate challenges Dr. Ojougboh to publicly provide evidence of his claim and list the names of the Senators he allegedly gave the alleged sum. Failure to provide evidence of his claim, the Senate hereby demands an immediate retraction and a public apology from Dr. Cairo Ojougboh.”
Meanwhile, Ojougboh has denied the claims he purportedly made stating that it was false.
Ojougboh, in a statement titled, ‘Re: Senate challenges NDDC over alleged ₦20m palliatives: A clarification,’ denied making such allegations in a newspaper’s report.
Part of the statement reads, “I want to state without equivocation, without any hint of doubt, that I neither issued nor made such a statement. Indeed, there is no provision in the Commission’s budget for such a payment.
“Let me make it clear, with all due respect to the hallowed chambers of the National Assembly, as well as to the entire Nigeria public, that I would have resisted such a payment if it were ever brought up in the Commission.”