It has been a war of words between Professor Itse Sagay and the leadership of the National Assembly over their fat salaries and allowances weighing down the national treasury.
Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption, PACAC, Professor Itse Sagay, has reacted to a statement against him by the Senate.
He mocked the federal lawmakers, saying Nigerians buy clothes they wear. Sagay further advised them to learn how to take criticisms in good faith.
Sagay insisted that he would not stop criticizing members of the National Assembly for their expenditure, which he said was adversely affecting the economy.
His words: “I criticize them for the huge amount of money they are taking out of the country.
“They are creating a situation in which Nigeria does not have enough funds; we have kidnapping, there is Boko Haram, we have militants, armed robbery and so on.
“That is basically what I said. I spoke the truth. They have wardrobe allowance, in other words, we are the ones buying clothes for them to wear.
“When they arrived Abuja, were they naked? What is their problem?”
The legal luminary had lamented that National Assembly allocated N125 billion to themselves alone this year and that while the United States President earns $400,000 per annum, a Nigerian senator earns over $1.7 million.
Sagay said besides a basic salary of N2.4 million per month, they earn allowances such as hardship (50 percent of basic salary), newspaper allowance (50 percent), wardrobe allowance (25 percent), entertainment (30 percent), recess (10 percent), and leave (10 percent), among others.
The total allowances, he said, amounts to N29.5 million per month and N3.2 billion per annum.
“Perhaps the most notorious example of the legislators’ resistance to the war against corruption is the rejection of the right of the executive to choose the persons who will spearhead that struggle,” he added.
“The clear impression is created that Nigerian legislators are in office for themselves and not for the populace.”
“Not surprisingly, the National Assembly has not passed a single bill for the promotion of anti-corruption war since it commenced business in July 2015.”
On Thursday, Senate lambasted the Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
Its spokesman, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullah, said “Sagay could not even check the records before proclaiming that ‘the National Assembly has not passed a single bill for the promotion of anti-corruption war since it commenced business in July 2015’.
“This man talks like a man who is constantly under the influence of some substance and perhaps possessed as he employs the language of a tout with no civility. He is probably constantly excited and incensed by the fact of having his first opportunity to find himself in the corridors of power.
“He pontificates and talks as if the war against corruption of the Buhari administration depends solely on him to survive. He once publicly attacked the Attorney General of the Federation and accused him of not doing enough to prosecute the war.
“This is a man who cannot stand for councillorship election and win. We challenge him to state what his contributions are in the election of our amiable President, Muhammadu Buhari, and what new ideas he has contributed to making the fight against corruption more effective since his appointment.
“With an easily excited man like him as head of an advisory body, the nation has continued to lose anti-corruption cases in courts due to the failure of his advice. He needs to do more work and talk less because media prosecution cannot win the war on corruption.”