A former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega, on Monday accused the members of the National Assembly of bribe taking.

He said chairmen of committees in the National Assembly were more notorious for bribe  taking antics.

Jega made the allegation in Abuja while delivering a lecture titled, “Peace building and good governance for sustainable development in Nigeria,” as part of activities organised to mark the 2018 Democracy Day.

The former INEC boss told the gathering that included President Muhammadu Buhari; President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; and the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, that the federal lawmakers took bribes at will under the pretence of committee work and oversight functions.

He said the present administration should resist the temptation of restricting its ongoing anti-corruption war to embezzlement and theft alone.

He said the scope of the anti-corruption fight should be extended to cover bribe taking and giving especially in government agencies.

Jega said, “The fight against corruption has to be intensified in all its ramifications. There are many successes achieved which are commendable but the magnitude of the problem on the ground is turning these into drops in the ocean.

“Members of the National Assembly engage in bribe taking when they pursue committee works and oversight and I wonder what is happening with intelligence and investigative responsibilities of  security agencies in policing our National Assembly.

“Some chairmen of the committees in the National Assembly have become notorious on this issue of demanding bribes with impunity.

“I have passed through the university system. I have heard so many stories of many vice-chancellors about the horror that they go through on question of budget and so-called oversight assignments.

“I am not saying that the chief executives are saints but all we are saying is that we must point the searchlights so that Nigerians and particularly public office holders should have basic common decency and integrity by which they discharge their responsibilities because virtually everybody seems to forget about what is going on.”

The Punch

 

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