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Lawan: Allegations that n’assembly received $10m bribe to pass PIB untrue

Lawan: Allegations that n’assembly received $10m bribe to pass PIB untrue
August 24
10:36 2021

Senate President Ahmad Lawan says allegations that members of the national assembly received $10 million bribe to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is untrue.

Both chambers of the national assembly had passed the bill before President Muhammadu Buhari signed it into law on August 16.

An online newspaper claimed that the bribe was paid to principal officers of the assembly to expedite passage of the bill “despite widespread opposition to a clause that granted only three percent of upstream oil companies’ operating income to host communities”.

Speaking with reporters after a closed door meeting with Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Monday, Lawan described the report as “false”.

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The senate president condemned the manner in which some citizens spread fake news and misinformation against the national assembly and the incumbent administration.

He said such information causes disrepute to lawmakers and danger to the public.

“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,” he said.

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“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 dollars 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.”

Lawan recalled how he filed legal suit against someone who allegedly spread similar falsehood against him.

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He urged Nigerians to desist from 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,” he added.

“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.”

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On the massive surrender of Boko Haram insurgents, Lawan expressed satisfaction with the new strategies adopted by the armed forces and other security agencies in tackling insurgency in the north-east.

He said the massive surrender by members of the Boko Haram sect was a clear indication that the war against insurgency would soon be over.

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