$9.3m scandal: Reps probe alleged $50,000 bribe to PDP legislators

By The Citizen

The House of Representatives yesterday ordered its Committee on Ethics and Privileges to probe a '$50,000 bribe' allegedly given to Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members in the House to bury a motion to institute an enquiry into circumstances around the seizure of $9.3m said to belong to the Federal Government last week by the South African authorities. The government of President Goodluck Jonathan had said that the cash haul seized from two Nigerians and an Israeli at the Lanseria Airport was for the purchase of arms from South Africa on behalf of the Nigerian government. However, a motion on Tuesday to probe the incident was voted out without debate in contentious circumstances, causing a walkout by the aggrieved APC lawmakers. The lawmaker, who made the allegations on Tuesday, Hon. Aliyu Sani Madaki, was yesterday asked to appear before the Ethic and Privileges Committee to prove his allegations. Presiding Deputy Speaker, Emeka Ihedioha who described the allegations as 'grievous' and 'regrettable', dropped subtle threats on Madaki. 'These are indeed trying times. For those who were in the last Assembly, I must also remind us that times like this have casualties and I don't pray that any of us becomes a casualty. This matter is referred to the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges. The Committee is to report back in two weeks,' Ihedioha stated while delivering a ruling on the matter. Madaki however told journalists after plenary yesterday, that the bribery allegation was no longer a 'rumour' but fact. 'As at today (Wednesday) it is no longer a rumour. I have the information that PDP lawmakers in the House of Representatives received $20,000 while Senators received $50,000', Madaki claimed. It would be recalled that the opposition lawmakers had on Tuesday walked out of the Chamber in protest, accusing the Deputy Speaker of a biased ruling on a motion on the $9.3m. The opposition also accused the government of money laundering and falsehood on the circumstances around the seizure of the cash. - National Mirror.