As the war of words continues between the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-corruption (PACAC), Professor Itse Sagay and the Senate, the law professor has said nothing will stop him from telling the truth.
This as the leadership of the National Assembly has accused Sagay of spreading falsehood and making hate speeches against the law makers.
The upper legislative chamber therefore urged President Muhammadu Buhari to call Sagay to order, describing him as a loose cannon.
But in a swift reply, Sagay was quick to note that he would not stop criticising members of the National Assembly for allegedly milking the country’s resources.
In a statement by Senate spokesman, Thursday, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, stated that Sagay was fond of using every opportunity to make public speeches to disparage the federal legislature by using uncouth and unprintable words to describe the legislators and the institution they represent.
He noted that Sagay had been one of the few divisive elements in the Buhari administration who believe their relevance is enhanced only when they create constant tension between the legislature and the executive while also setting members of the executives against each other.
Abdullahi noted that while the legislators had ignored past statements made by the Professor of law, his recent speech at a public lecture in Lagos organised by the Society of International Law where he gave false details about the salary and allowances of the legislators and the various bills passed bordered on inciting members of the public against the legislators and deliberately circulating hate speech; which the government is working hard to contain.
“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 and 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.
“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′. First, the 8th National Assembly was inaugurated on June 9, 2015 not July.
“Also, 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.
“He pontificates and talks as if the war against corruption of the Buhari administration depends solely on him to survive. He once publicly attacked the Attorney General of the Federation and accused him of not doing enough to prosecute the war.”
Meanwhile, Sagay replied the Senate, saying nothing would stop him from telling the truth.
He said: “I criticize them for the huge amount of money they are taking out of the country. They are creating a situation in which Nigeria does not have enough funds; we have kidnapping, there is Boko Haram, we have militants, armed robbery and so on.
“That is basically what I said. I spoke the truth. They have wardrobe allowance, in other words, we are the ones buying clothes for them to wear. When they arrived Abuja, were they naked? What is their problem?”