Senate President Bukola Saraki has challenged the former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Professor Attahiru Jega to name lawmakers who requested bribe to discharge their duties.
Saraki gave his take on the matter at Wednesday’s plenary session after when Senator Isah Hamma Misau (APC, Bauchi) raised a point of order over Jega’s allegations against the federal lawmakers, Daily Trust writes.
Jega had while delivering a lecture on Monday for this year’s Democracy Day, accused members of the National Assembly of being ‘notorious’ for seeking bribes to carry out their constitutional duties.
The former INEC chair said, “Some chairmen of committees at the National Assembly are notorious for seeking for bribes. I spoke to quite a number of chief executives, who complained of high demand for bribes from members of the National Assembly in the name of the so-called oversight functions.”
Misau had while raising the point of order asked Jega to be bold to name the lawmakers who demanded for bribe.
“If we really want to fight corruption and want to help the government, he would not be making such statements without mentioning the committee chairmen and those who gave him that sort of information. I felt embarrassed. We need the professor to throw more light on the allegation,” he said.
Saraki said he and Speaker Yakubu Dogara were highly embarrassed when Jega made the allegation.
“I was at the programme, myself and the speaker and we were highly embarrassed by this kind of comment. All of us are committed to the fight against corruption. But I believe it doesn’t help the fight against corruption, it is a slight to the integrity of some of us, where such a statement is made.
“If he has those kinds of evidences, he should bring it forward. Because to say that, is to suggest that every member of the National Assembly is part of this even those who are not part of this are condoling this action which is far from the truth,” he said.
He said Jega should come out and mention the bribe seekers as a way of ensuring that adequate sanctions are taken.
“If he can’t come out and name, then he should not make such branding statements. Going forward to all distinguished and respected Nigerians, in issues that have to do with the institutions and a parliament, if there are cases like this, we have always said that we are not going to cover up for anybody and future accusations, they should name them and see what the institution would do in trying to ensure that the necessary sanctions are taken.”