Ad-hoc Committee Chair Refutes Extortion Claims: Unveiling the Truth

The Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee investigating job racketeering in Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Hon. Yusuf Gagdi on Tuesday summoned all the Vice Chancellors of Federal Universities to appear on Friday to give documentary evidences on the allegation bothering on bribery and extortion by a member of the Ad-hoc Committee.

Hon. Gagdi who issued the notice during the resumed investigative hearing on job racketeering across over 900 MDAs, dismissed allegation on the alleged extortion of some MDAs.

While arguing that the author of the online report titled: ‘Nigerian lawmakers probing job racketeering are extorting money from agencies’, was being unfair to tag all the 37-members of the Ad-hoc Committee as ‘corrupt’, Hon. Gagdi maintained that the Ad-hoc Committee will not be deterred by any form of sponsored blackmail from carrying out its statutory functions.

He maintained that though he is the chairman of the committee, he was unaware of any members collecting money from MDAs.

Hon. Gagdi noted that if the author of the report and the Vice Chancellors have any information on any particular member, such report should be channeled towards the member rather than blackmailing all the members of the Ad-hoc Committee.

He said it would be difficult for such report to blackmail the committee before Nigerians, adding that they have seen how the committee is attacking the agencies.

He said the author of the story who failed to used the word alleged, however went ahead to indict the 37 member committee, adding that such would not happen even in a military regime.

House of Representatives adhco Committee on Job racketeering probe chaired by Rep.Yusuf Gagdi
“Regarding to what we are hearing and what we are seeing is first to tell Nigerians that this Committee is not going to be deterred in discharging its responsibility. Nigerians have hope in this Committee from.the way we are conducting the business of this Committee, everybody is seeing what we are doing.

“We will not compromise by hiding and aiding irregularities going on in the public service.

“No amount of statement accusing this Committee will deter us from doing our job.

“You may have your problem with a member of this Committee but don’t blackmail the entire Committee.

“I’m saying this because I am not being accused of doing anything, but you have issues that you want to make publication about a member of this Committee, sort it out with him, don’t put anything at the faces of members of this Committee.

“We are determined to do justice to Nigerians in the course of this investigation.

“My only appeal to the members of the Fourth Estate of the Realm the Press is that let us be credible Journalists. If you have anything to say about us be categorical. Don’t accuse my Members blindly. Tell us who is accusing who, instead of tagging this Committee as a corrupt Committee.

“It’s unacceptable to us, we are not and we will never be. Nigerians have hope in us and this will be the first in the history of the National Assembly that you will see a mind blowing recommendations that is aimed and targeted at cleaning our public service.

“So, the statement is simple, we will not be deterred. But don’t bring an indicting headline in the name of selling your newspaper or agency. Please I’m saying this

“We will move forward, and we will do the needful, we are not going to surrender,” Hon. Gagdi assured.

While noting that the Ad-hoc Committee had no problem with the information the online platform had regarding one of the members or some of them, he maintained that: “From day one of this committee I told them that we are going to be fought, we are going to be chastised, we are going to be witch-hunted even though we are going to do this job to the best of our ability.

“I do not look like someone that needs N2 million from the head of an agency, but the quarrel we have with you is the way the report came out, which does not look balanced and professional.”

To this end, he directed the Clerk of the Ad-hoc Committee to write the Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission (NUC) to ensure that all the Vice Chancellors appear before the Ad-hoc Committee on Friday with a view to clarify the allegation.

He said: “The meeting with Vice Chancellors was presided over by Wole Oke, from the report given to me, it was done publicly here, was that we will meet with them institution by institution sometime next week.

“But in view of certain developments, I think the Clerk should summon the Vice Chancellors to appear through the National Universities Commission on Friday. We have to sit on Friday.

“Let the letter reach the Commission today, I want to personally sign the letter so that some of these things will be done in the character of the committee publicly for us to ask questions on what particularly the members of the Press will want to hear. Clerk make sure you do that,” he said.

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Ad-hoc Committee Chair Refutes Extortion Claims: Unveiling the Truth

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- Studied Mass Communication from the University of Jos. He is a Media Consultant, Journalist, a blogger, public relations practitioner and an advocate for social justice.