Nigeria’s former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, lashed out at the National Assembly, saying it is largely an assemblage of looters and thieves. INFORMATION NIGERIA brings you the biggest takeaways from his statement.
The former president said the National Assembly, which he said is shrouding its corruption in the opaque nature of its budget, has damaged its capacity to oversight the executive.
He accused the President Goodluck Jonathan-led executive of making direct payments to the legislature in order to cover up its wrong doings.
“Apart from shrouding the remunerations of the National Assembly in opaqueness and without transparency, they indulge in extorting money from departments, contractors and ministries in two ways,”He also said.
“They do so during visits to their projects and programs and in the process of budget approval when they build up budgets for ministries and departments, who agree to give it back to them in contracts that they do not execute. They do similar things during their inquiries.”
Former President Obasanjo said the Goodluck Jonathan’s administration has upped Nigeria’s corruption level through the huge sums of money it has been paying to the National Assembly to stop investigating its corrupt acts.
He equally pointed that, “Corruption in the National Assembly also includes what they call constituency projects which they give to their agents to execute but invariably, full payment is made with little or no job done.
The former president insisted that over the years, the National Assembly never singled out any corrupt lawmaker except where the executive led in the indictment of a member.
He listed some of the cases where the executive led in exposing corruption in the National Assembly to include those of former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Salisu Buhari, and former Senate President, Adolphus Wabara.
He maintained that majority of the members of the National Assembly live above the law in both misconduct and corruption and cannot in good conscience carry out oversight duties on any government ministry or department.
“When the guard is the thief, only God can keep the house safe and secure,” he said. “But I am optimistic that sooner than later, we will overcome.
“God will give us guards of integrity and honesty with the fear of God and genuine love of their people and their country.He submitted.