A fresh crisis between the Presidency and the Senate looms as indications emerged yesterday that senators are calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to dissolve the Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption, PACAC, led by Professor Itse Sagay, SAN, for incompetence.
This is coming weeks after the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly summoned Sagay for describing senators’ actions as childish and irresponsible, a summon he failed to honor. The call for the dissolution was made yesterday by the Chairman, Senate Ad hoc Committee on Mounting Humanitarian Crisis in the North East, Senator Shehu Sani, APC, Kaduna Central. But Prof Sagay, in a swift reaction, accused the Senate of working assiduously to whittle down the anti-corruption war of the government.
Speaking with journalists, Senator Sani, who noted that the President did not need a forum of advisers on corruption to effectively fight corruption, said the suspension of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Mr. Babachir Lawal, was a clear indication that the committee, which once defended the SGF, was not competent. Sani said: “President Muhammadu Buhari should, as a matter of urgency, dissolve his Presidential Advisory Council on Corruption. It is a moribund and irrelevant assemblage.
“The Presidential Advisory Committee, headed by a man who defended the SGF is without honor. Professor Sagay attacked me for my report on PINE, now that the President has taken steps in the direction of the committee report, I hope the Prof will muster the courage to also attack the President. The advisory committee was looking for corruption in Sokoto, while it’s there in Sokoto.
“It is sad that most of the mercenary forces hired to rubbish the integrity of the Senate Committee and defend those indicted have suddenly lost their voice.” He, however, lamented that the humanitarian situation in the North East was made an industry where government officials and even NGOs profited from the suffering and hardship of millions of victims. According to him, while some people saw the millions of orphans and widows produced by the crisis as victims, others saw them as cash cows.