The House of Representatives said on Tuesday that it would no longer respond to corruption allegations made against the National Assembly by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
It noted that its response had already been “fully captured” in a position the House took in 2016 that the former President remained the “grandfather of corruption in Nigeria.”
The House spoke as Obasanjo again criticised the constituency projects of lawmakers, describing them as “corruption.”
Obasanjo made his latest attacks in Minna, the Niger State capital, on Monday where he addressed the opening of a two-day investment forum organised by the Niger State Government.
The forum with the theme, “Impact of Investing for Advancing Agricultural Economy and Innovation,” had several notable personalities in attendance, including a former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (retd.) and the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad-Abubakar III.
Obasanjo stated, “The Sultan talked about roads; I hope our lawmakers will use their position and act positively so that when they put in road projects in the budget, they will not turn them into what they now term as constituency projects?
“You and I know what constituency projects mean. It is simply corruption.”
However, reacting through its Chairman, Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Abdulrazak Namdas, the House said attacking the National Assembly was Obasanjo’s pastime, a reason it took a position in 2016 to reply him “comprehensively and close the chapter.”
Namdas stated, “We won’t respond to any corruption allegations by Obasanjo against us anymore.
“We have replied him enough and our position remains what we said earlier. It has not changed.
“I refer you to our comprehensive position on Obasanjo in 2016. That is still our position.”
Since leaving office in 2007, Obasanjo has consistently attacked the National Assembly, calling lawmakers names.
In January 2016, he wrote separate letters to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and the Speaker of the House, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, accusing lawmakers of being extravagant and corrupt in the face of economic challenges in the country.
In November of the same year, he called senators and House of Representatives’ members “unarmed robbers” on the heels of the suspension of a former Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation, Mr. Abdulmumin Jibrin, over his budget padding allegations.
The former President had stated, “Once you are a member, you are co-opted and your mouth is stuffed with rottenness and corruption that you cannot opt out, as you go home with not less than N15m in a month for a senator and N10m a month for a member of the House of Representatives. The National Assembly is a den of corruption by a gang of unarmed robbers.
“If the judiciary is being cleaned, what of the National Assembly, which stinks much more than the judiciary? Budget padding must not go unpunished.
“It is a reality, which is a regular and systemic practice. Nobody should pull the wool over the eyes of Nigerians.”
But Namdas on Tuesday insisted that the House would not respond to Obsanjo’s latest attacks since Obasanjo remained the godfather of corruption in Nigeria.
The House had added that a reason Obasanjo would never like the members of the National Assembly was the fact that they foiled his third term ambition in 2007 after taking his money and displayed it publicly to put him to shame.
The House accused Obasanjo of frequently churning out outright lies and mischievous innuendos against the National Assembly.
The House’ November response to Obasanjo read partly, “Undoubtedly, former President Obasanjo is understandably angry with the National Assembly as an institution, having foiled his ambition for a third term in office even after trying to corrupt the members with a bribe of at least N50m each.
“Lest we forget, the person who introduced corruption to the National Assembly is Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. He birthed the 4th Republic National Assembly with corrupt practices from day one; indeed the first day of the Republic.
“He bribed the PDP, ANPP and the AD legislators on their inauguration in 1999 to vote against the majority candidate of the PDP, (the late) Dr. Chuba Okadigbo. That was how Senator Evan Enwerem became the Senate President.
“Have we forgotten the sacks of money displayed on the floor of the House of Representatives, being bribe money paid by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo to some honourable members to impeach the Rt. Hon. Speaker, Ghali N’abba?
“Have we forgotten that Obasanjo used his position as President to extort businessmen and contractors to build his presidential library?
“The list of his corrupt acts while in office is endless. Unquestionably, he is the greatest corrupt person ever to hold office in Nigeria. He remains the grandfather of corruption in Nigeria and lacks the moral authority to discuss corruption or abuse of office in Nigeria as he remains the most corrupt Nigerian on record.”