Senate President Ahmed Lawan has denied a report that the National Assembly members collected a $10 million bribe to pass the controversial Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
Lawan made the denial on Monday in an interview with State House correspondents after meeting President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential, Villa Abuja.
Recall that the Nigerian leader signed the controversial bill into law as confirmed in a statement last week Monday by his spokesman, Femi Adesina.
According to Lawan, the leadership of the National Assembly did not collect money from anyone to give to lawmakers to pass the 3% host community development fund.
The Senate President described the report as unwarranted, unprovable, false and fake information, urging Nigerians to disregard such a report and cautioned those spreading the report to desist from such a wicked action.
He said: “People 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… Recently, somebody said $10 million was given to the Speaker and the Senate President to give to members of the National Assembly to pass a 3% host community development fund. That is funny, but also very serious.
“I really want to take this opportunity to make 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 to take someone to court because of this kind of thing about three months ago, but Nigerians are better judges than anywhere else. So, the freedom of expression is there, probably more than anywhere in the world, but I want to caution that Nigerians should always think positive about their leaders and their administration and their governments and if they have issues they feel very strongly about, let them speak the truth and we are prepared to make corrections that we feel should be able to make us do better.”