By Femi Ogunshola
Abuja, Aug. 31, 2023
The House of Representatives Ad hoc committee investigating alleged job racketeering by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) has written to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), urging it to investigate allegations of bribery and extortion made against the lawmakers.
Rep Yusuf Gagdi, Chairman of the committee, disclosed this when Federal Polytechnic Rectors, under the aegis of Committee of Federal Polytechnics’ Rectors, appeared before the committee in Abuja.
According to him, the committee has written to ICPC to investigate the account number allegedly released to heads of tertiary institutions for payment of the bribe.
Gagdi said, “I have already written to the ICPC to investigate the account number that was published by an online medium, the owner of that account, whether there is any transaction by vice chancellors and rectors of polytechnic in the country.”
Gagdi threatened that the committee would take legal action against the online medium over the publication, which aim, he said, was to “blackmail and discredit” the committee.
It would be recalled that the online medium published a story alleging that some members of the committee requested vice chancellors and heads of tertiary institutions to pay certain amounts to the said account as bribes.
The story also claimed that the account was dedicated for the purpose of giving a soft landing to any institutions’ who would pay the bribe money into it during the investigation.
Members of the committee were also said to have engaged in extortion from heads of MDAs, including those of academic institutions.
While appearing before the committee on Thursday, however, the rectors refuted the allegations.
Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, Engr Yahaya Mohammed, the Rector of Federal Polytechnic, Kaura Namoda, Zamfara State, said at no time did the rectors interface with any member of the panel.
He also denied that they were given any bank account number to pay the bribe as alleged.
When asked by Gagdi to respond to the allegations of bribery and extortion made against the committee, Mohammed said, ”This is our first time of interfacing with the committee. All of us came into Abuja yesterday.
“Chairman, we are not in receipt of any account number or account name by any member of this committee.
“I will say under oath that we have not received any account number from any member of this committee,” he said.