•Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe
The controversy trailing the 2018 budget may not have abated as the Chairman, Senate Committee on Electricity, Iron, Steel and Meteorology, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe, says he would open a can of worms that must have precipitated his arrest when the Senate resumes plenary on Tuesday.
Responding to Sunday Telegraph’s enquiry on the heels of his release last week after spending five days in custody of the Department of State Services (DSS), the Senator representing Abia North in the National Assembly declined comments, but said would keep sealed lips till that day.
“I was when the report was to be made known by Abaribe, Senate Spokesman and his counterpart in the House of Representatives that Abaribe was arrested. “I was there during the arrest. Eight security operatives visited the house; two manned the gates while the other six searched through every document in the house.
We were told they were looking for weapons, but no such was found. “They even saw Mrs. Abaribe marking some school scripts, but they took her laptop computer and examined it for any incriminating content.
The National Assembly wondered why the executive complained about alteration in the budget because the former introduced 6,403 projects critical infrastructures totaling N578 billion and slicing other allocations when it inserted new project after its passage.
However, when contacted, Senator Abaribe declined comments on the issue, he rather said he could only speak extensively on it when the National Assembly resumes this week. Responding to the allegation, Special Adviser to the Power, Works and Housing Minister, Mr. Hakeem Bello, said it is illogical for anyone to claim that a new item was introduced into a budget already passed by the National Assembly, just before Mr. President signed it into law. “It is very illogical to make such claim. If anyone injects a new item into the bill before the President signs it into law, will the Ministry of Finance release such fund for it?
I don’t know what they are talking about, and if the Senator wants to open any can of worms, we are waiting to see it,” he said. (Sunday Telegraph)