The Senate has debunked reports that each senator received N20 million each as palliative from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The Senate made a rebuttal in a statement issued by Senator Ajibola Basiru, the Senate Committee Chairman on Media, on Tuesday in reaction to comments made by Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, Director of Projects, Interim Management Committee of the NDDC.
Ojougboh had in a recent newspaper interview alleged that the commission gave N20 million to each senator while each of the House of Representatives member collected N15 million as palliative for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
But Senator 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: “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 hereby disclaims the allegation in its entirety.
“The Senate categorically denies that any Senator collected the sum of N20 million or any sum whatsoever from NDDC as COVID relief fund of for any purpose whatsoever.
“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.”