Senate President, Ahmad Lawan has denied allegations that members of the two chambers of the National Assembly received $10 million bribe to pass 3% host community development fund.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Lawan stated this while briefing State House correspondents after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Monday.
KanyiDaily recalls that President Buhari had recently signed the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) 2021 into law, despite the agitations of host communities who are demanding 5% equity, as against the 3% in the document by the federal lawmakers.
An online news media (not Kanyi Daily) had reported that the leadership of the National Assembly had been allegedly accused of taking bribes to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill.
According to the online news medium, the Senate President, Lawan, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, were paid in dollars to ensure the passage of the PIB which was signed into law on August 16 by President Buhari.
Ahmad Lawan Dismiss Allegation Of $10m Bribe
Speaking on the bribery allegation, the Senate president frowned on the way and manner that some citizens had been spreading fake news and misinformation against the National Assembly and the government.
“People say anything or everything about the president, about the administration, about members of National Assembly, they call us names and this is part of the intangible dividends of democracy.
“But we are determined to ensure that the space is wide open for everybody to say whatever he wants to say.
“But I will advise that don’t say things that are bad because people are in the habit of … and recently somebody said $10 million was given to the Speaker and the Senate President to give to members of the National Assembly to pass three per cent host community development fund.
“That is funny, but also very serious. I really want to take this opportunity to take exceptions to those kinds of unwarranted, false and fake information being fed to the Nigerian public and the danger people will face with this is you cause unnecessary damage to the reputation of people.’’
Nigerians Should Stop Abusing Freedom Of Speech
Lawan recalled how he filed a legal suit against someone (name withheld) who allegedly spread a similar falsehood against him. He urged Nigerians to desist from the wrong use of their freedom of expression.
“I had an occasion to take someone to court because of this kind of thing about three months ago.
“But Nigerians are better judges than anywhere else. So, the freedom of expression is there, probably more than anywhere in the world, but I want to caution that Nigerians should always think positive about their leaders, administration and governments.
“And if they have issues they feel very strongly about, let them speak the truth and we are prepared to tell corrections, and that we feel should be able to make us do better,’’ he added.
Meanwhile, Buhari’s aide, Femi Adesina has mocked Obasanjo, Yar’Adua, and Jonathan over their inability to sign the 2021 Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law.