The spokesman for the Senate President, Olu Onemola, has dismissed claims that Dr. Bukola Saraki, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Honourable Yakubu Dogara and the Clerk of the National Assembly, Sani Omolori, diverted allowances of aides and slashed their salaries. 

Mr Onemola in series of Twitter posts, identified the flaws in the claims allegedly put forward by some legislative aides and gave his own side of the story, defending his boss. 

A media organisation had quoted unidentified legislative aides as saying that they have filed a petition with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) indicting the Senate President and others.

In his response to the claims, Saraki's aide said: "I strongly believe that this ‘anonymous’ petition is entirely phoney and fabricated.

"Every legislative aide that works in the National Assembly knows how the institution functions: The political leadership has absolutely NOTHING to do with salaries and allowances of aides.

"No legislative aide that knows how the institution functions would make such baseless claims. I am sure this is why the petition was ‘anonymous’ — because it is mischievous and lacks merit".

Giving further explanation as to how legislative aides are paid he said that "before the 8th Assembly was inaugurated, the salaries and allowances of aides of legislators were removed from the sphere of control, influence and intervention by legislators or their presiding officers.

"All legislative aides are employed based on the ‘recommendation’ of legislators. However, their salaries, allowances, training and welfare are handled by National Assembly Management headed by the Clerk (CNA).

"Again, the Presiding Officers have no control over the salaries and allowances of legislative aides.

"For example, the Senate President can only recommend that a particular aide be employed. However, it is ONLY the CNA that can issue a ‘LETTER OF APPOINTMENT’ to that aide. 

"It is important to also point out that the management of National Assembly can also reject the recommendation by even the Senate President if he has exceeded the number of aides he is entitled to appoint.  

"Another example: I work for the Senate President. Yet, I am 100% sure that he does not know how much I earn or what my allowances and other entitlements. This is between myself and the management of the National Assembly," Mr Onemola explained.

Also Read: Why Nigeria Scored Low In SERAP’s Human Rights Rating

He further highlighted that his salary was fixed by the National Assembly's management.

"My training and other entitlements are determined, paid and budgeted for by the National Assembly management."

Commenting on the alleged petition, he again described it as phoney and a groundless allegations that have nothing to do with the political leadership of the National Assembly.

"The public may not know this, however, even even Senator Bukola Saraki, the Senate President, and Rt. Honourable Dogara, the Speaker of the House of Representatives — as well as ALL their colleagues — are paid their salaries and allowances by the same National Assembly management," Sarki's spokesman emphasised. 

He then requested that the media - both traditional and online - should take the time to under(stand) the administration, operations, standing orders and traditions of the Nigerian parliament.

If you enjoyed reading this and our other stories, please, share with friends and loved ones.

My Transition Hours: Nigerians React To Goodluck Jonathan's Book Launch