DINO Melaye, a senator from Kogi State and chairman, Senate Committee on federal capital territory, on Thursday, January 28, alleged that it was former President Olusegun Obasanjo that exposed the federal lawmakers to corruption during his tenure.
Melaye, in a statement issued in response to Obasanjo’s latest letter to the National Assembly, also accused the former president of misplacing his anger on the national current lawmakers.
The senator said he had expected Obasanjo to have forgiven members of the Fourth National Assembly, who allegedly refused to impeach Umar Ghali Na’Abba, speaker of the House of Representatives, despite an alleged huge financial inducement.
Melaye’s statement said in part: “I have tremendous respect for President Olusegun Aremu Okikiola Obasanjo, elder statesman, respected pan-Africanist and committed patriot.
“I went through the letter written to all senators and members of the House of Representatives.
“The letter, as I can see it, is a misplacement of anger. Our leader has mistaken the 8th National Assembly as the same National Assembly that defrauded him in 2007; that is those who collected his money and refused to implement the third term agenda.
“I appeal to Baba that we are not the ones please. After nine years of that bribery saga, the first of its kind, I expect forgiveness to have taken place.”
He alleged during the time of Obasanjo there was a heavy financial inducement in the desperate attempt to remove Na’Abba from office and that it was his government that actually exposed the National Assembly to corruption and easy money.
“I hope this is not in an attempt to cover up and distract attention from the Halliburton and Siemens corruption allegations? While I am against corruption anywhere in Nigeria, I will not support accusations based on anger and vindictiveness.
“The 8th Senate should also look inward and purge itself of all the deliberate misgivings of the past,” the statement said.
Melaye, therefore, enjoined Nigerians to work together and support the anti-corruption stand of the Buhari administration.
Obasanjo, in a letter dated January 13, letter to Bukola Saraki, Senate president and Yakubu Dogara, speaker, House of Representatives, accused the lawmakers of reckless spending and abuse of office. He asked them to return to the path of honour.
Obasanjo also asked the lawmakers to open their financial records for external audit.
The leadership of the National Assembly acknowledged receipt of the latter and Saraki, in a “preliminary” response, said the eighth Senate was committed to transparency and accountability.
— Feb 8, 2016 @ 01:00 GMT