The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, has said that all presiding officers in the National Assembly are entitled to official accommodation.
Dogara, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Mr Turaki Hassan, made the clarification on Tuesday.
Dogara said the attention of the house had been drawn to report alleging that presiding officers of the the National Assembly, including the Speaker collected money from the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCDA) for rent of their official residences.
“The report, which was credited to a group known as Citizen Action to Take Back Nigeria (CATBAN), deliberately set out to misrepresent and distort facts with the aim of blackmailing the persons of the presiding officers and the Legislature as an institution.”
According to hhim, presiding officers of the National Assembly are entitled to official accommodation which is provided for by the FCDA as host of the National Assembly.
“The same is applicable to the President, Vice President and the Chief Justice of Nigeria because their offices are not covered by the monetisation policy.
“Consequently, no National Assembly presiding officer receives any money from any other source for accommodation or rent.
The FCDA is solely responsible for providing official accommodation for presiding officers of the National Assembly and how it goes about it is entirely its business and not that of any presiding officer.
He said that it was callous, wicked and evil to alleged that National Assembly Presiding officers collected money from FCDA without any form of evidence whatsoever.
“The public should discountanace the story in its entirety.
“We challange those undertakers and merchants of lies for filthy lucre to tell the Public which countries of the world allows presiding officers of their Parliament to live in their personal houses.
“Certain officers of state were excluded from monetisation policy because of the nature of offices they hold that involves hosting certain level of official guests and other sundry activities. Should Nigeria’s case be different?”