Obasanjo Most Corrupt Leader in Nigeria – Former Speaker Na’Abba
By ALEX UANGBAOJE, Kano
Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Honourable Ghali Na’Abba on Sunday attacked former President, Olusegun Obasanjo by describing him as the most corrupt leader in Nigerian.
Na’Abba, who was speaker during former President Obasanjo’s first tenure as President disclosed that the former President had nothing before becoming President in 1999 but engaged himself in questionable and undefendable expenditures while in office which he severally challenged him on as the then speaker.
The former speaker stated this at Emir’s Palace in Kano while reacting to questions from Journalists on the issue of padding currently rocking the NASS. He said it is the constitutional responsibility of the NASS to look into the budget brought before her by the Executive and act upon it appropriately.
Recalled that the former President Obasanjo had in two occasions described members of the National Assembly (NASS) as rouges and corrupt people who lacks integrity.
On Obasanjo’s corruption allegation against the NASS, Na’Abba said, “well, I don’t think there is anybody more corrupt in this country like the former president. He lacks integrity to accuse anybody of being corrupt.
“As the Speaker, I took Obasanjo on several issues of expenditure offences which he committed and could not show remorse. So, I don’t think he has the integrity to call anybody in the NASS corrupt. This is the man who became President with nothing and today he is one of the richest Nigerians, let him explain to Nigerians how he acquired the money.
“On his planned elongation, am aware that some monies was given to the national assembly members both the House of Representatives and the Senate. It was alleged that the Senators got 50 million each while 40 million was given to the house of representative members, some collected and some did not collect. But am aware that money was distributed by Obasanjo” he stated.
On the padding or no padding, he said, “I expect that for 16 years of return to democracy, Nigerians would have understood the responsibilities of the National Assembly.
“For some weeks now, there has been controversy over what is called padding. As far as I am concerned, the National Assembly has the responsibility to pass the budget, approve it and allow the executive arm to execute it.
“According to my understanding, where the issue being referred to as padding comes into play is a situation where some members go behind and add items of expenditure to what has already been agreed upon, for either stealing the funds or doing whatever they feel like doing with it.
“But, this stealing of fund cannot be possible without the active connivance with some members of the executive arm.
“So far, accusations are being traded amongst members of the houses. No investigation has been conducted. On the call for the resignation of the Speaker, the question is, what has the Speaker done to warrant his resignation?”
When asked whether padding was an offence, he said, “It all depends from what angle you look at it, I just told you that the responsibility of appropriation belongs to the national assembly. If padding is seen as an offence, then it is when some members of the national assembly decide to add items of expenditure through the back door after the budget has been passed by both houses. It therefore behoves on Nigerians to decide who represent them in the national assembly”. He stressed.