- The National Assembly has reacted to the allegation of corruption levelled against it by the former INEC chairman, Attahiru Jega
- The Senate claimed Jega is entitled to his opinion and hence, can say whatever he likes
- The House of Reps members have however demand that Jega substantiate his claim by mentioning names of corrupt members
The National Assembly has on Monday, May 28, responded to the allegation of corruption levelled against it by the former chairman of the Independence National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega.
The Senate spokesperson, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, while reacting to Jega's accusation, said the ex-INEC chairman can go ahead and make whatever claim he wants. The House of Representatives weren't as dismissive as the Senate counterparts and the Representatives have called on Jega to substantiate his claims by mentioning names of the corrupt officials.
Abdullahi said: "Jega can even change our names to anything he wants. Jega is entitled to his opinion. Whatever he says does not change the facts on grounds. I can’t respond to that. If he likes, let him change our names to anything that suits him.
“This is the beauty of democracy. People can say whatever they want. It is their right to do so. I will not respond to what he has said.”
The House of Reps spokesperson, Abdulrasak Namdas, said: “As far as we are concerned, this is just an allegation. We will only take it serious if Jega mentions people’s names. If he is specific on individuals that are notorious for taking bribe, that would be a different thing. But this statement is a blanket statement that we should not be responded to. As far as we are concerned, this is allegation that needs to be proven. Until individuals are mentioned, we will not respond.”
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NAIJ.com earlier reported that Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s former minister of finance, has disclosed how the National Assembly, during the Goodluck Jonathan administration, engaged in blackmail and arm twisting to pass budgets.
In her new book, 'Fighting Corruption is Dangerous: The Story Behind the Headlines', Iweala recollected how the executive arm of government was forced to part with N17bn in order for the lawmakers to pass the 2015 budget.
Top Four Over-the-top reactions of Nigerian lawmakers to certain circumstances - on NAIJ.com TV: