Senate President Ahmad Lawan on Monday said the Red Chamber did not shut out the media from covering the budget defence sessions at the National Assembly.

He said those who accused the Senate of shutting them out misrepresented facts.

Lawan was reacting to reports, last week, that the media were shut out from the coverage of the budget defence at the sittings of various Senate committees.

“There is no shutout of the press from what we do,” Lawan told reporters in a statement in Abuja by his Special Adviser (Media), Ola Awoniyi.

“We need the press to tell Nigerians what we are doing. You (journalists) are our friends. That was a misunderstanding (of what happened).

“I want to assure Nigerians that whatever we do in this Senate and indeed in this National Assembly is in the best interest of Nigeria. We will not compromise on anything, as far as the national interest is concerned,” Lawan said.

Also, the Senate Committee on Federal Character and Intergovernmental Affairs yesterday quizzed the Chairman of Federal Character Commission (FCC) over alleged secret recruitment by Federal Government agencies.

The committee’s Chairman Danjuma La’ah asked the FCC’s Secretary, Mohammed Tukur, to explain if he was aware of the recruitment.

Tukur and his team were in the National Assembly to defend the 2020 budget proposal of the agency.

The senators asked the FCC chief to explain if due process was followed in the alleged recruitment by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and other agencies.

Tukur said the agency was aware of the alleged recruitment by some agencies and that it had started investigating the allegations.

The secretary promised to give the committee necessary information on his findings as soon as the investigation is concluded.

He also told reporters after his engagements with the Senate panel that the matter was already being investigated by his agency.

Tukur said: “Some members of the Senate Committee raised the issue of the recruitment going on, particularly the one of an agency, and we said the issue was being addressed. All other issues that were brought to the attention of the commission are actually being addressed.”


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