Job racketeering probe: Reps panel dissociates self from bribery allegation, summons NUC, VC’s
The Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee investigating job racketeering in Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Yusuf Gagdi, summoned all the Vice Chancellors of Federal Universities to appear on Friday to give documentary evidence on allegations of bribery and extortion by a member of the Ad-hoc Committee.
Gagdi on Tuesday issued the notice during the resumed investigative hearing on job racketeering across over 900 MDAs, dismissing the allegation of extortion by some MDAs.
He argued that the author of the online report alleging that lawmakers probing job racketeering were extorting money from agencies was being unfair to tag all the 37 members of the Ad-hoc Committee as ‘corrupt’.
The lawmaker maintained that the committee would not be deterred by any form of sponsored blackmail from carrying out its statutory functions, insisting that, as the chairman of the committee, he was unaware of any members collecting money from MDAs.
“Regarding to what we are hearing and what we are seeing, its first to tell Nigerians that this Committee is not going to be deterred in discharging its responsibility. Nigerians have hope in this committee. From the way we are conducting the business of this committee, everybody is seeing what we are doing.
“We will not compromise by hiding and aiding irregularities going on in the public service. No amount of statements accusing this committee will deter us from doing our job.
“You may have your problem with a member of this committee, but don’t blackmail the entire panel.
“We are determined to do justice to Nigerians in the course of this investigation.
“My only appeal to the members of the Fourth Estate of the Realm is, let us be credible Journalists. If you have anything to say about us, be categorical. Don’t accuse my members blindly. Tell us who is accusing who, instead of tagging this committee as a corrupt.
“It’s unacceptable to us, we are not and we will never be. Nigerians have hope in us and this will be the first in the history of the National Assembly that you will see a mind blowing recommendations that is aimed and targeted at cleaning our public service.
“So, the statement is simple, we will not be deterred. But don’t bring an indicting headline in the name of selling your newspaper or agency”, Gagdi warned.
The Committee Chairman then directed the Clerk of the Ad-hoc Committee to write the Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission (NUC) to ensure that all the Vice Chancellors appear before it on Friday to clarify the allegation.
He said: “The meeting with Vice Chancellors was presided over by Wole Oke from the report given to me, it was done publicly here, the plan was that we will meet with them institution by institution sometime next week.
“But in view of certain developments, I think the Clerk should summon the Vice Chancellors to appear through the National Universities Commission on Friday. We have to sit on Friday.
“Let the letter reach the Commission today, I want to personally sign the letter so that some of these things will be done in the character of the committee publicly for us to ask questions on what particularly the members of the Press will want to hear. Clerk make sure you do that,” he said.