The Nigerian House of Representatives on Thursday described former President Olusegun Obasanjo as the “most corrupt” Nigerian on the record.
The lawmakers said the “greatly corrupt” and “morally bankrupt” former leader is effectively plotting to derail the government of Muhammadu Buhari in the same manner he allegedly did to successive presidents since 1979.
“It is unfortunate that he has started his very familiar method of bringing down governments,” House spokesperson, Abdulrazak Namdas, said in a statement Thursday.
“He did it to Alhaji Shehu Shagari. He did it to Gen. Buhari. He did same to Gen. Babangida. He attempted to bring down Gen. Abacha before he imprisoned him for treason.
“He made frantic efforts to derail the government of President Ya’ardua when he couldn’t use him. He supported President Goodluck Jonathan but when he refused to take dictation, he turned against him.
“He supported President Buhari, but since he has sensed that Nigeria is having economic difficulties under him, he has pounced to derail his government,” the lawmakers said.
The House was responding to the former president’s stinging criticism of the level of corruption in the National Assembly.
At a forum on Wednesday, Mr. Obasanjo said the National Assembly had become “a den of corruption” controlled by “a gang of unarmed robbers.”
The former president also backed the campaign of Abdulmumin Jibrin, a whistleblowing lawmaker who was suspended in September.
Mr. Obasanjo also called on President Buhari to end the corruption in the National Assembly with a clampdown similar to the one against senior judicial officers last month.
“If the Judiciary is being cleaned, what of the National Assembly which stinks much worse than the Judiciary?” Mr. Obasanjo queried.
The House responded to the attacks on Thursday afternoon through its spokesman, Mr. Namdas.
Mr. Namdas said Mr. Obasanjo lacked the moral authority to speak against corruption, adding that his allegations were devoid of any credibility.
“He remains the grandfather of corruption in Nigeria and lacks the moral authority to discuss corruption or indeed abuse of office in Nigeria,” Mr. Namdas said in a statement.
Mr. Namdas said Nigerians would not forget in a hurry the loads of cash Mr. Obasanjo allegedly bribed members of the House of Representatives to impeach a former Speaker, Ghali Na’Abba.
“Have we forgotten the sacks of money displayed on the floor of the House of Representatives being bribe money paid by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo to some honourable members to impeach Speaker, Rt. Hon. Ghali Na’Abba?” Mr. Namdas queried.