BY BODE GBADEBO, Abuja
The Senator representing Niger South senatorial district in the National Assembly, Senator Mustapha Sani Mohammed, has said that he only reported BudgiT Nigeria agent, Moses Omotoni, to the Police for defamation of character and misleading the public over the execution of constituency projects in the 2017 budget for Niger South.
It will be recalled that the media had on Tuesday reported the arrest of Omotoni on the instruction of Senator Mohammed by the operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Kaduna for “sensitising” the public on constituency projects in Bida town of Niger State.
However, the lawmaker in a statement issued in Abuja yesterday, explained his own side of the story, saying Omotoni had gone to his senatorial district, distributing fake documents that he (Senator Mohammed) had been given money for 2017 constituency projects without executing them.
Omotoni’s action, the Senator said, was capable of inciting his constituents against him, hence he quickly reported the matter to the Police.
According to him, the Police must have carried out their investigations and found out that what the BudgiT official did was wrong and consequently arrested him, noting that he had no power to order anybody’s arrest.
“Yes, I am a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I am not a police chief, hence I cannot order the police to arrest anybody on my behalf as has is being insinuated in the media. Moses Omotoni went to my ward, Landzu Ward in Bida, telling people and giving them dubious documents that I was given funds to execute constituency projects for 2017.
“That was absolutely a defamation of character and misleading of public which could incite violence. I simply reacted as a law-abiding citizen by reporting him to the police. They must have investigated and arrested him,” Mohammed said.
The lawmaker further explained that not much of the 2017 budget had been implemented in term of capital projects, and the aspects implemented did not include constituency projects as at yesterday.
He added that execution of constituency projects is statutorily handled by ministries, departments and agencies of government (MDAs), and not individual lawmakers, hence there was no way he could have be given funds for projects execution.
“Everybody knows that not much of the 2017 budget has been implemented. As far as December 6th, 2017 is concerned, constituency projects aren’t among the aspects of the budget already implemented. And even if they are going to be implemented, the MDAs are the constitutionally saddled with such responsibilities, not individual senators; so what money was BudgiT personnel telling my constituents about?,” he queried.