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Anti-graft war: Senate bombs Itse Sagay


Senate has accused Chairman of the Presidential Action Committee on Anti-Corruption (PACAC), Professor Itse Sagay (SAN), of deliberately spreading falsehood and making hate speeches against the National Assembly.

The upper legislative chamber also declared, yesterday, that the Presidency is losing the anti-graft war because of  Sagay’s “beer parlour rumours.”

In a statement by its spokesman, Senator Sabi Abdullahi, yesterday, the Red Chamber said Sagay is fond of disparaging the federal legislature by using uncouth and unprintable words to describe the legislators and the institution they represent.

“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.

“He is a senile, jaded, rustic and outdated professor of law” who may be “under influence of substance.

“Senate is calling on the president to caution Sagay and stop him from further creating needless tension in the relationship between the executive and the legislature.”

Senate noted that Sagay is one of the few divisive elements in Buhari’s government, “who believe their relevance is enhanced only when they create constant tension between the legislature and the executive while also setting members of the executives against each other.”

The spokesman said while lawmakers have ignored past statements made by the law professor, his recent speech at a public lecture in Lagos, where he gave false details about the salary and allowances of legislators and the various bills passed, bordered on inciting members of the public against the legislators and deliberately circulating hate speech; which the government is working hard to contain.

“His last speech in Lagos, during which he reeled out false and exaggerated figures about the salaries and allowances of legislators and also, lied about the passage of anti-corruption bills showed that he just deliberately set out to undermine the legislative institution and lower its reputation in the estimation of right-thinking members of the society and we, therefore, 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 the salaries and allowances of legislators when he could simply get the facts from the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Allocation Commission (RMFAC) which 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.

“Prof. Sagay, at his lecture in Lagos, also made comparisons, which did little credit to his background as a lecturer as he talked of the salary of the United States president and that of a Nigerian legislator. That is like comparing oranges with apples. Surely, Sagay based his analysis 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.

“This man talks like a man who is constantly under the influence of some substance and perhaps possessed as he employs the language of a tout with no civility. He is probably constantly excited and incensed  by the fact of having his first opportunity to find himself in the corridors of power.

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