With few days to the end of their tenure, only God know how much Nigeria’s legislators would cart away in billions of Naira before their eventual departure. Few months ago, this lousy speaker of Nigeria’s legislative chamber and the leader of House of Representatives, Oladimeji Bankole was condemning civil servants as representatives of most corrupt institution in Nigeria. Today just few weeks to the end of the legislators’ tenure, his/their corrupt practices running to billions of Naira, dollars and pound sterling are being exposed.
The Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has confirmed that it has received petitions against the Speaker over purported misappropriation of N21.3 billion and promised to embark on immediate investigation of the matter.
A body called Youth Anti-corruption League has also sent a petition to the anti-graft agency against the abuse of due process and corrupt practices by Speaker and request for his arrest and prosecution. The body queried why nothing has happened to the Speaker when there have been evidence that petitions have been filed against him since 2008.
The commission has received several petitions against the Speaker about the N2.3billion car scam arising from the purchase of 407 Peugeot cars for the House of Representatives in 2008. Certain members of the progressive group of legislators had submitted a petition against the same Speaker on the abuse of due process and corrupt practices associated with the N9 billion Capital Budget of the House for 2008/2009 sessions.
And now the latest allegation is that Bankole approved a loan of about N10billion for the House of Representatives without any resolution of the House. The loan was allegedly taken on behalf of the lawmakers, while the transaction was allegedly smuggled the money into the 2011 budget. Hon Dino Melaye and his ‘Progressive’ group members had alleged that Bankole inflated contract sums to distribute the said N9billion.
In addition to this workers in the nation’s oil industry have called on the National Assembly to suspend the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) until after the swearing in of the newly-elected officials because they learnt some legislators were demanding for bribery in millions of dollars from multinational oil companies operating in Nigeria.
The lawmakers are now expecting to be paid billions of Naira as their Severance Gratuity allowance. Imagine! The salary of a federal legislator is less than a million Naira but there is wide speculation that their individual monthly take-home pay is about N30 million.
Like one writer noted recently “Members of the National Assembly have imposed enough burden on Nigerians. They are grossly over-paid and heavily under-worked. Several weeks into the second quarter of the year, Nigeria is yet to have an implementable budget. The National Assembly in its spendthrift nature padded its allocation by more than 110 per cent.”
Though it could not be easy to get completely incorrutible and clean Nigerians, some political office holders are just too dirty and “BRUTALLY’ corrupt. The development is not strange considering my recent opinion in this article: Corruption between Legislators and Civil Servants in Nigeria