The Senate is set to investigate an allegation of over N8billion fraud at the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) following an alarm raised by Chairman of the Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Senator Dino Melaye, representing Kogi West Senatorial District.
Senator Melaye on Tuesday drew the attention of the senate to activities of some individuals at the CCB who he alleged are nursing corrupt intentions to defraud the federation through the 2016 budget on the pretence that the bureau is seeking to acquire a new office headquarters while jettisoning the old building for which it had already gotten an approval by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) backed up with a contract award.
According to Melaye who raised the motion under Orders 43 and 52 of the Senate Rules, “contract for the building of the CCB headquarters had earlier been approved by FEC at over N1.4billion representing 16% of the total contract sum and over 10% percent job has already been carried out at the site, but in the 2016 budget, the CCB rather than investigating why the contract was stopped and how it could be completed went ahead to request for the approval for a new building while abandoning the completion of the old site.”
Melaye also informed the Senate that the bureau requested N4.4billion for the purchase of a new building. Although he urged the Senate to investigate the matter since it is still an allegation, he has relevant documents ready to back it up, adding that the point of order he raised is in line with the oversight function of the 8th senate to expose fraudulent activities of some characters who are trying to undermine the laws of Nigeria and build corruption.
Melaye’s motion was seconded by Senator Albert Bassey (Akwa Ibom North East) who pointed out the urgent need to critically investigate the allegation so as to save the country some unnecessary expenditure.
In his remark, while putting the question as to whether the matter should be investigated, the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu frowned at the development.
Ekweremadu said that the Senate recognizes the need for the Bureau to have a befitting office, but noted that it is important that the senate ensures that public fund is not misappropriated under any guise.
The Senate thereafter resolved that the matter be investigated by the committees on FCT, Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions as well as the Committee on Procurement and return findings to it within two weeks.