The Senate yesterday vowed to expose more corrupt Nigerians following the sack of former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Babachir David Lawal and National Intelligence Agency (NIA) Director General, Ayo Oke .
The declaration followed personal explanation by Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah.
Na’Allah who represents Kebbi South drew the attention of the Senate to the termination of the appointments of Lawal and Oke by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He reminded his colleagues that the issues that led to the sack of Lawal emanated from the Senate when the upper chamber, after investigation, returned a verdict of guilt on the former SGF.
Na’Allah also said that the issues that resulted in the sack of the former Chairman, Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina, started with the investigation of Maina for alleged fraud by the Senate.
He concluded that the eventual sack of Lawal and the national outcry against the surreptitious reinstatement of Maina is a vindication of the Senate.
Na’Allah said, ” Mr. President we cannot claim not to know that between yesterday (Monday) and today (Tuesday) there has been official confirmation of the appointment of a new Secretary to the Government of the Federation and of course, the termination or whatever of the appointment former occupier of that office.
“I find it necessary to say this because I believe in the statement that if we religiously keep to the oath of office and our engagement with the Nigerian public that those who have tried to bring down the institution of the Senate, God will vindicate us before their eyes.
“The issues surrounding the termination of the appointment of the former SGF emanated from this Eight Senate.
“Today, we have been vindicated. The issues surrounding Maina emanated from this Senate. Can we now not have the authority to shout a sign of vindication?
“Mr. President, you remember that when we resolved as a Senate to complement the efforts of the Federal Government in the fight against corruption, we said it here and we all took a vow here that we will do whatever that is humanly possible to live by the oath of office we have taken, defend the constitution.
“Section 80 (2)(b) this section, the powers conferred on the National Assembly on the provisions of the section are exercisable only for the purpose to (a) make laws in respect to any matter within its legislative competence and to correct any defect within the existing law, (b)to expose corruption, inefficiency or waste……
“Why it is necessary to make this statement, you will remember when we started this crusade, so many things happened.
“Let us not be quick to forget that this same people we were fighting for, Nigerians became gullible and were sponsored, toilets were provided for them to close the gate of the National Assembly in the name of occupy NASS.
“Every conceivable thing has been done to bring down the name of the Senate. Individually and collectively, in the social media we were stoned with everything.
“What is important and instructive today is for me as deputy leader of this Senate to implore all my colleagues to say that the task before you in the protection of the constitution and the laws of the federation which is the basis of the engagement with the people who elected us is not a small task.
“That is why you see that the oath of office given to you says you should do that without fear or favour.
“I am proud of this Senate and I will remain proud of this Senate even in my grave.
“What I’m going to say is that we have other investigations still pending. It is important that the committees that are charged with the investigations should please expeditiously turn in their report so that at the end of the day, we will have cause to glorify God that the burden placed upon us by those who elected us to office has been discharged to the best of our ability.
“This is why I am calling on all other committees that have pending investigations to do so.
“In conclusion, it is important for Nigerians to understand that it does them no good to embark on denigration of institutions that are vested with the responsibilities to discharge these things especially the National Assembly.
“And those who have core wisdom or lack of it in spending money to spread falsehood all over, in order to demean the institution of the National Assembly should know that they are doing no good to the population of 170 million Nigerians that elected us and gave us the responsibility to represent them in this chamber.
“Mr. President, I once again congratulate the 8th Senate. I am very proud of you, and I will remain very proud of you. We must keep the flag flying .”
Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, who summed up what Na’Allah said without allowing debate said:
“It has been a tough journey to defend the institution. I want to commend the government for doing what is right.
“When we started it was just blackmail, we will continue in our commitment to fight corruption, non selective.
“We will not renege on our promise to expose corruption, any case that is brought to us we assure you that we will investigate it and expose it.
“There are a few investigations going on, committees ensure that your investigations are concluded on time and you submit you reports.