The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi (Delta North) has blamed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of harassing legislators from the upper legislative chamber for the non-confirmation of the Acting chairman of anti-graft agency, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, as substantive Chairman.
Nwaoboshi revealed that harassing him and the other legislators would not stop his arrangement with the position of the Senate as a body, or from speaking the truth.
He said these on Friday while reacting to media reports that he was being investigated, alongside his brother, Augustine, for supplying used equipment for a N1.5 billion contract with Delta State Ministry of Works, in 2010, and for not declaring certain properties in his asset declaration forms with the Code of Conduct Bureau. The reports, in two dailies (not THISDAY) also alleged that Nwaoboshi’s BVN number had been linked to 20 bank accounts, to which his brother was signatory.
Nwaoboshi berated the commission for its indulgence in media trials instead of carrying out thorough investigations.
He admitted that Bilderberg Enterprises Ltd, where he was a Director at the time, bidded for the contract and won.
“We brought the equipment from manufacturers in China. Sino Truck, XEMG, Sanya, the companies we bought from all have offices in Nigeria, why can’t the EFCC contact them, or even contact their offices in China, provide the serial numbers of each equipment, and ask if we bought used or brand new? They can check shipping documents, etc,” he said.
The Senator added that all relevant agencies in the state certified the equipment as brand new.
“What they did not add was that I was not in government at the time. I was a businessman. I was a Director in the company at the time of the contract. This was long before I came to the Senate. As I speak, nobody has invited me.
This is why we are saying the EFCC should be overhauled. Yesterday it was the Senate President and Dino (Melaye), now they have been cleared. Today it is me, because I spoke up, and said the power of confirmation lies with us as a Senate. In America, nominees of the President are being rejected, and heaven did not fall down,” Nwaoboshi added.
He also queried the interest of the EFCC in his asset declaration forms when the CCB has not faulted his submission.
“You prosecute people in the press, bring them down. Even without interrogating us, they have already found us guilty. That is the EFCC of Nigeria. Without conceding that it is true, is there any law that stops my brother’s company from having 20 accounts? He has been a businessman for years. And they said my BVN is linked to the accounts, but he is the signatory; let the bankers respond to that,” he added.
The Senator however welcomed the establishing of the Executive-Senate reconciliation committee, and expressed faith in the ability of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who heads the committee, to resolve the face-off.
“You do not intimidate people in a democracy to get what you want, you lobby,” he added.