Nigerian Senate begin probe of FCC Chairman over alleged abuse of office

THE NIGERIA SENATE HOUSE

The Nigerian Senate Committee on Federal Character and Inter-Governmental Affairs on Tuesday February 9, 2021 commenced investigation into the allegations of office abuse levelled against the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Character Commission, Muheeba Dankaka,

No fewer than 20 commissioners of the FCC had petitioned the Senate panel, accusing Dankaka of allegedly committing offences which bordered on abuse of office.

The FCC Chairman was appointed last year by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), in controversial circumstances.

When the probe started on Tuesday, the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Danjuma La’ah asked Dankaka, to defend the allegations leveled against her by the commissioners

The FCC boss, however, told the lawmakers that she was not prepared for the investigative hearing because the panel’s letter of invitation was delivered to her on Tuesday morning.

She said, “I got the invitation letter this morning and I am not supposed to be the only one in this place.

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“As far I am concerned, we have 37 commissioners in the Commission, I have over 30 of the commissioners with me, but about five of them because of their selfishness, decided to be going from one place to another. ”

Dankaka’s response led to reactions from the petitioners and tension began to rise.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee had to call for a closed-door session, which lasted for one hour.

La’ah told journalists after the session that further investigation on the matter would continue on Wednesday, next week.

He pledged that his panel would get to the root of the matter.

He said, “The commissioners who petitioned the Committee are expected to appear before us by next week Wednesday and we are determined to get to the root of the matter.”

Some of the offences leveled against Dankaka in the petition include misrepresentation and misapplication of section 2(1) of the establishment Act, and unwholesome arrogation of power which led to alienating commissioners, plenary, and commission from the activities and operation/administration of the FCC.

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She was also accused of secretly holding official interactive sessions and official meetings with heads of government agencies privately without the involvement of relevant operational committee.

She was alleged to have issued waivers and certificate of compliance without the knowledge and approval of plenary as provided by the establishment Act.

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