Adams Oshiomhole, the Senator representing Edo North, on Tuesday, apologized to his colleagues over a recent interview where he accused members of the Ninth Senate of looting their offices after their tenure.
He claimed that he spoke against the backdrop of the N70 billion said to have been allocated to support the working condition of the National Assembly.
It will be recalled that the former Edo State governor had, on Channels Television on Sunday accused former Senators and members of the House of Representatives of vandalizing and looting some of the equipment in their offices.
Putting up a defense following calls on him to apologies to lawmakers over his remarks in the interview, Oshiomhole said, “I didn’t address social media, I spoke with a respected TV station. The question was put to me by the TV host as to what justified the appropriation for the comfort of the national assembly.”
He explained that what he meant about looting of offices was that many of his colleagues in the 10th Senate had to use their personal money to get new equipment in their offices because the offices were empty at the time they were inaugurated into the senate.
“The allegation was made by the TV host, at no time I have ever said the Senators looted their offices. What I said is that offices were vandalised. I said on the television that many Senators had to use their money to get things because many things had been removed by the time they got to the office.
“I had never thought so or never said so. Even before receiving our salaries, some of us had to use our personal money to equip our offices. I bought rugs and television sets in my office.
“Having listened to my explanation, that was not the intention and that was not my statement and to those who think I have offended them, I apologize because I cannot leave my home and go to the media to abuse anybody.”
In the TV show, the former Edo State governor disclosed that television sets, carpets and chairs were carted away by the former senators and rep members leaving the offices empty for the new lawmakers.
“I was shocked by the level of vandalisation of properties of the National Assembly. Televisions were carted away, carpets were carted away, Senators’ chairs were carted away. I had to use my money and someone also decided to deliver to me a printer, to give me a laptop to use in my office. I had to buy the carpet and pay the cost of fixing it. I had to pay some young people to clean the office to restore the new carpet. I had to pay to repaint my office. I will produce you the receipt.
“People told me there’s also the same level of vandalisation in the House Representatives,” Oshiomhole stated.” Mr Oshiomhole said on the TV programme.
Senator Solomon Olamilekan (APC, Ogun West) had during plenary on Tuesday raised a point of order against Mr Oshiomhole’s comment, claiming that the Edo Senator made a false allegation against the personalities of the former senators.
In the point of order, Mr Olamilekan sought the Senate permission to compel Mr Oshiomhole to apologize to the upper legislative chamber and members of the 9th Assembly.
“He was addressing Nigerians about this senate and knowing fully that any senator cannot move anything outside the National Assembly without approval. If anything, you move is not in compliance and without approval of the National Assembly, your severance allowances will not be paid,” Mr Olamilekan stated in his point of order.
The Senate President, Godswill Akpabio however stressed that the N70 billion allocated to the National Assembly was not for palliative but to assist lawmakers replace some of the things that needed to be in their offices.
Akpabio said, “The 70 billion was not for palliative, it was not for rice, it was to replace some of the things that are not there.”