Despite the failure of chairman of the Presidential Pension Task Force Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina to appear before the senate committee to answer questions, senate Monday assured it was not helpless at bringing Maina to book.
Mr. Maina had in 2011 repeatedly refused to appear before the senate joint committees on establishment; states and local government headed by Mr. Aloysius Etok, to answer questions on how many retirees have not accessed their fund.
Even a warrant of arrest signed by Senate President, Mr. David Mark ordering the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mr. Abubakar Mohammed produce Maina did not have any effect.
However, chairman, senate committee on Media, Mr. Eyinnaya Abaribe, while briefing newsmen ahead of the resumption of the National Assembly, on Wednesday said the senate was not helpless over Maina.
He said "let me state equivocally that the Senate cannot be said to be helpless on the matter. On the contrary, the Senate will and I want to underline that word ‘the Senate will pursue the matter to its logical conclusion".
"let me state equivocally that the Senate cannot be said to be helpless on the matter. On the contrary, the Senate will and I want to underline that word ‘the Senate will pursue the matter to its logical conclusion"
When asked of the present state of the 2013 budget, Abaribe said "the Senate has passed the 2013 budget, any other thing that is going on now is the normal course of the bureaucracy involved and I don’t think that there would be any problem with that. The important thing to note is that the 2013 budget was passed on December 20 by a concurrence of both houses and the passage also by both houses of the National Assembly and that officially is the passage of the budget by the Parliament".
Mr. Abaribe said he was sure that the 2013 budget was receiving the attention of the president saying "I will have to assume that such has been done because after you have passed the budget, what is left is simply mechanical, you get a clean copy and then, you send it. I am assuming that it must have been passed".
He pleaded with aides of President Goodluck Jonathan not to cause friction between the executive and the legislature saying "anybody that works with the president. Should not put parliament at loggerheads with the executive".
On the zero-allocation to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) the law maker said "the parliamentarians are representatives of the people and whenever they collectively take a position, we assume that such position is in the best interest of the country. We have never taken a position here that was not in the best interest of the country and I think that that should lay to rest, that matter".