Nigeria’s Senate President, Ahmad Lawan has dismissed claims that he collected a $10m bribe from oil companies to expedite the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill.
A clause in the bill that is currently on the floor of the House allows for only 3% of upstream oil companies’ operating income to host communities. An online news source, had on Friday in the week gone by stated that the Senate Leadership took receipt of $10m cash to ensure the bill was passed with the questionable clause intact.
But after a visit to President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, Lawan told State House correspondents that there is no such thing.
According to him, “And that we have established ourselves as an administration, people who say anything or everything about the President about the administration about members of National Assembly, they call us names.
“And this is part of the intangible dividends of democracy. But we are determined to ensure that the space is wide open for everybody to say whatever he wants to say.
“But I will advise that don’t say things that are bad because people are inhabited. And recently somebody said $10 million was given to the speaker and the senate president to give to members of the National Assembly to pass 3% what do you call it? 3%. House communications house was developed developing fun, that is funny, but also very serious.
“I want to take this opportunity to take exceptions to those kinds of unwarranted unprovable false and fake information being fed to the Nigerian public.
“And the danger people will face with this is you cause unnecessary damage to the reputation of people, I had an occasion to take someone to court because of this kind of empty vessel about three months ago. But Nigerians are better judges and lawyers.
“So the freedom of expression is there, probably more than anywhere in the world. But I want to question that Nigerians should always think about their leaders and their administration and their governments. And if they have issues, they think very strongly about, let them speak the truth.
And we are prepared to tell corrections that we feel should be able to make us do better.”