THE Chairman of the House Ad-hoc Committee investigating job racketeering in MDAs, Rep. Yusuf Gagdi, has dismissed allegation of extortion of some MDAs by the committee, describing it as baseless.
Reacting to the allegation, the committee summoned all vice chancellors of federal universities to appear before it on September 1, 2023 to give documentary evidence on the reported alleged extortion by a member of the committee.
Gagdi issued the notice in Abuja on Tuesday during the resumed investigative hearing on job racketeering affecting over 400 MDAs.
He said the author of the online report, titled: ‘Nigerian lawmakers probing job racketeering are extorting money from agencies’, was unfair to tag all the 37-members of the committee as ‘corrupt’.
He said the committee would not be deterred by any form of sponsored blackmail from carrying out its statutory functions.
The chairman said though he is the leader of the committee, he was unaware of any member collecting money from MDAs.
Gagdi explained that if the author and the vice chancellors have any information on any particular member, such report should be channelled towards the member rather than blackmailing all members of the 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 use the word alleged, however went ahead to indict the 37-member committee, adding that such will not happen even in a military regime.
“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 members.
“I’m saying this because I am not being accused of doing anything, but if you have issues that you want to make public about a member of this committee, sort it out with him.
“Please, 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 is unacceptable to us, we are not and we will never be,” he declared.
According to him, Nigerians have high hope in the committee, adding that this will be the first in the history of the National Assembly that the country will see mind blowing recommendations.
He said the recommendation would be aimed and targeted at cleaning up public service, reassuring that the committee 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,” Gagdi said.
He therefore directed the Clerk of the Ad-hoc Committee to write the Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission (NUC) to ensure that all the VCs appear before the committee on Friday to clarify the allegation. (NAN)