Former President Olusegun Obasanjo
Erstwhile member of the House of Representatives, Dr. Haruna Yerima, has disclosed that former president Olusegun Obasanjo gave N50m bribe to every member of the fifth National Assembly who supported his third term bid.
The Borno-born former lawmaker, who stated this at the 34th Aminu Kano Annual Memorial Symposium held in Kano, revealed that while some members turned down the money, others collected it.
Speaking on the topic, ‘Politics after Malam Aminu Kano: The Role of the Legislature in Nigeria’s Democratic Development’ he pointed out that very few members of the National Assembly rejected the N50m offer by the then president.
“In the House of Representatives, I was the only member who rejected the Obasanjo’s third term bid and that what led to my exit from the House,” Yerima said.
He lamented that corruption was rooted in the National Assembly to the extent that it could be difficult tackling the menace within a short time.
The former lawmaker asserted that, “there is nothing one can do at the moment to stop corruption in the National Assembly”.
He also said the major factor aiding corruption at the legislature was that majority of the lawmakers lacked the basic knowledge about the duty and functions of the National Assembly.
“We have to make our legislative members and senators understand what democracy is all about. We have to make them understand the rules of the house and the constitution even if they cannot read and write.
“I have a colleague who spent 12 years in the National Assembly but had never seconded a motion not to talk of moving it on the floor of the house.
“The problem is that most of our legislators are attached to their governors and are dancing to their tunes,” Yerima stated.
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