Itse Sagay PACAC chairman is 'a senile, jaded, outdated Professor of Law' - Senate

The Senate has issued a public warning to the PACAC chairman to stop attacking the legislature.

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Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Professor Itse Sagay play

Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Professor Itse Sagay

(Okay Nigeria)
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The Senate has issued a stern public warning to Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Professor Itse Sagay, urging President Muhammadu Buhari to call him to order.

The Senate made the stinging criticism of the chairman in a press statement signed by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, on Thursday, September 7, 2017.

The statement accused Prof. Sagay of spreading falsehood about the Senate in public, and damaging the integrity of the federal legislature.

Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi play

Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi

(Nigerian Biography)

 

Abdullahi also made a note of Prof. Sagay's divisive nature and fondness for pitting members of the executive arm of government against one another.

He said, "Ordinarily, we would ignore Sagay whose statements and attitude present him like a rascal and sadist instead of a former university teacher.

"However, his last speech in Lagos during which he was reeling out false and exaggerated figures about the salaries nod allowances of legislators and also lied about the passage of anti-corruption bills showed that he just deliberately set out to undermine the legislative institution and lower its reputation in the estimation of right thinking members of the society and we therefore believe we should put him in his rightful place.

"As an academic whose creed should be to find facts and make comments based on truth, we believe that Sagay should stop spreading beer parlour rumours about the salaries and allowances of legislators when he could simply get the facts from the Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Allocation Commission (RMFAC) which is the body constitutionally charged with the responsibility of fixing salaries and allowances of all public officials.

"Let us make it clear that our salaries and allowances are open books and the details can be taken from the RMFAC by any interested party.

"Prof. Sagay at his lecture in Lagos also made comparisons which did little credit to his background as a lecturer as he was talking of the salary of the United States President and that of a Nigerian legislator. That is like comparing oranges with apples.

"Only a senile, jaded, rustic and outdated Professor of Law like Sagay will make such a comparison which falls flat on its face, even to an ordinary lay man. Surely, Sagay is basing his analysis on street talks."

Senate President, Bukola Saraki play

Senate President, Bukola Saraki

(The Guardian)

ALSO READ: Senate warns Itse Sagay over comments about its members

This is a response to Prof. Sagay's recent criticism of the legislature where he accused them of collecting exorbitant allowances.

While delivering a lecture at the Nigerian Society of International Law (NSIL) Public Lecture in Lagos on Tuesday, September 5, he revealed that every Nigerian Senator earns N29.5 million per month and N3.2 billion per annum.

He also accused the Senate of being selfish to the nation's needs and resisting President Buhari's war on corruption as a result.

He said, "Perhaps the most notorious example of the legislators' resistance to the war against corruption is the rejection of the right of the executive to choose the persons who will spearhead that struggle.

"The clear impression is created that Nigerian legislators are in office for themselves and not for the populace.

"Not surprisingly, the National Assembly has not passed a single bill for the promotion of anti-corruption war since it commenced business in July 2015. The Whistle Blowers Protection Bill, the Proceeds of Crime Bill, and the Special Criminal Court Bill remain in a virtual state of stagnation."

"What evidence do we need to establish the hostility of the Eighth Assembly to the anti-corruption war?"

ALSO READ: Senators earn N29.5 million monthly - Itse Sagay

Prof. Itse Sagay play

Prof. Itse Sagay

(Today)

 

In the robust response issued by the Senate, Abdullahi hit out at Prof. Sagay for the falsehood that his statement represents, while highlighting the Senate's efforts on helping the administration's corruption war.

He said, "Sagay could not even check the records before proclaiming that the National Assembly has not passed a single bill for the promotion of anti-corruption war since it commenced business in July 2015'.

"It is on record that the Senate has passed the Whistle Blowers' Protection Bill, Witness Protection Bill, Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Agency Bill.

"This man talks like a man who is constantly under the influence of some substance and perhaps possessed as he employs the language of a tout with no civility. He is probably constantly excited and incensed by the fact of having his first opportunity to find himself in the corridors of power."

Abdullahi went on to blame the losses of the government's anti-corruption court cases on Prof. Sagay, saying that he needs to do more work and stop creating further needless tension in the relationship between the executive and the legislature.

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