The Senate Joint Committee on Public Service and Establishment and State and Local Government Administration investigating the alleged mismanagement of pension funds yesterday alleged that the Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, Mr Abdulrasheed Maina, attempted to bribe its members to halt the probe.
Addressing newsmen at the National Assembly Complex yesterday, the chairman of the committee, Senator Aloysius Akpan Etok (PDP, Akwa Ibom North-West), said, "Maina approached us with huge amounts of money which we rejected."
However, in a reaction to the allegation, Maina yesterday denied offering bribe to the committee and challenged it to present evidence to prove the allegation.
Maina, who spoke through the spokesman of the pension team, Hassan Salihu, said: "They (senators) should present the evidence of how he offered them money and when such thing happened."
He insisted that at no time either before or during the public hearing that any of the Senate Committee members requested for any bribe from the Pension Reform Task Team.
But the lawmaker, who did not disclose how much the task team attempted to offer his committee as bribe, added, "Maina also asked some big people, whose names I will mention at the appropriate time, to give us bribe to soft-pedal on our ongoing investigation into the mismanagement of pension funds. We rejected the money because we are not ready to compromise our work.
The team then resorted to blackmail us when it became obvious that we are not going to compromise our assignment."
He hinted that the committee might take a legal action against the pension task team "for making false accusations against us."
Earlier, in another statement by Salihu, the pension task team denied what it called media commentaries and side talks insinuating that the Senate Committee on Establishment demanded a bribery of over N16million for each of the Committee's member.
"Yes, the Pension Task Force has faced fierce attacks from the Senate Committee public hearing without any reason. In view of Nigerians' ardent keenness in assessing this situation, this has resulted in the formation of wrong notion that the Task Team might have refused to offer bribery to the Senate Committee," he said.
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