The Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay, on Wednesday told the Senate President, Senator Ahmad Lawan, that Committees of the National Assembly demand gratification before writing favourable reports on Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
Sagay made the allegation when he paid a courtesy visit to the Senate leadership on Thursday.
He appealed to the Senate leadership to ensure that oversight functions of the lawmakers do not look like extortion of government agencies.
He said: “We also want to bring before the Senate some of the criticisms of the public in the area of oversight.
“There is this constant complain that members of committees demand some form of gratification before they would visit a place or write anything favourable about the MDA.
“We appeal to the leadership to look into it and ensure that the oversight work of the Senate does not involve anything that will be described as extortion.
“This issue of constituency project has been a controversial one.
“I don’t want to express any opinion.
“All I want to plead is that you look into it and ensure that it is something of benefit to the constituents and constituencies of this country and not a subject of controversy anymore.”
In his response to the issue, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, said no agency has ever complained of extortion by the lawmakers for the past 21 years he has been in the National Assembly.
Lawan, however, threatened that any committee or member caught collecting gratification from government agencies will face the full wrath of law.
He said: “As for oversight, as far as I know, I am not in receipt of any complaint and I have been in this National Assembly for 21 years.
“But Mr. Chairman, if any committee asks for anything from any MDA that is not appropriate, the law is there to take its full course.
“We believe that no committee or member of the National Assembly will go out of his way to ask for anything before undertaking an oversight.”