Senate replies Obasanjo, says ex-President a ​’​liar​’​

The Senate on Thursday dismissed a scathing attack by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, saying Mr. Obasanjo merely sought to disrespect the National Assembly by accusing its members of extensive corruption.

Mr Obasanjo, in a furious outburst Wednesday, had accused members of the Senate and House of Representatives of stealing constituency funds, and extorting government officials they supervise through blackmail and intimidation.
The spokesperson for the Senate, Enyinnaya Abaribe, said in a statement that Mr. Obasanjo’s claim about constituency project funds was an outright lie aimed at misinforming Nigerians.

​“The allegation as spurious as it were. Its very distant from the truth and is nowhere near reality,” Mr. Abaribe said.​

“President Obasanjo for the avoidance of doubt, was the initiator of the constituency project in the year 2000 as a means of ensuring that projects were fairly spread across the country using the Senatorial zones as the spring board.

“To ensure execution of the projects, President Obasanjo again factored the constituency projects into the annual budgets to be implemented by the executive depending on availability of funds. That is to say that no lawmaker ever comes close to the funds or even determine the contractor for the said projects or when the said contract would be awarded,” Mr. Abaribe said.

He said it was curious that Mr. Obasanjo would turn around after over 10 years of initiating such a project to accuse the National Assembly of misusing such money.

“Such allegation stands logic on its head, as it amounts to an indictment of the Presidency for wilfully contravening the budget laws by ceding its power to execute to the National Assembly, if it was the case,” he said.

He said, “It will also help to clear the allegation once and for all, if any presidency official not only from the time past but currently, could come forward and explain the true position of the so called constituency projects. Doing so would at least set the records straight.”


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  • TRUTH MASTER

    On this, I am going to side with Obasanjo. I don’t know if the members of the National Assembly are thieves, but I know their greed, the humongous salaries and allowances they have allocated to themselves and their extortion from the agencies they oversight have contributed to the woeful state of our economy. I also learnt that they prefer the US dollar to the Naira in their ‘transactions’, a development that has partly helped to collapse the national currency. Never before have so few been fed with so much from the commonwealth!

    Thanks, OBJ, for lampooning the greedy lawmakers!

    • Giganto

      Good point, but just an addition: it is greedy lawless-makers not “lawmakers” anymore

      • TRUTH MASTER

        ‘Greedy lawless-makers’ sounds nice to me:-)

  • Segun Surulere

    No need to argue here … The facts on ground speak for themselves … Just ask any ministry or parastatal what they have to endure at the hands of legislooters …. Case in point , recently heard they started accusing WAEC of fraud blah blah blah …. My alarm bells started ringing … This is their modus operandi … They start by accusing the parastatal or ministry of wrongdoing and then try to muscle in and get juicy payoffs and contracts from these ministries …. Classic mafia thuggish extortionAte behaviour … So in a sense OBJ was right

  • Gideon Teibowei

    Una dey craze, una dey fear to tell the man the truth because na past president? Abi una wan malign unasef with am? Yeye people all birds of same feathers flocking together. Corrupt leaders calling odas corrupt. Shame on your persons, so sad.

  • Patriotic Nigérian

    Senate spokesman….we all know how u extort money in the name of oversight function, ur silence on dat allegation is a confirmation. And for u Obasanjo u started it all u r a grandfather of Corruption in Nja.

  • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

    These looting trainees in the Senate are now forced to rebel against their trainer and grandmaster

  • Adoki

    Dear distinguished, I will advisee that you guys apply utmost care and thread very very softly in responsing to this allegation. The last time the man made precisely this same allegation, we say the drama that followed. Events started unfolding almost at the speed of light, then there was Farouk gate. You guys know that some of us know that the constituency projects system has become a huge scam in the National Assembly. The guy certainly has enough evidence and you people should start preparing for the scandal that is about to hit that unimaginably filthy institution called the Nigerian National Assembly.
    And, point of correction, Obasanjo did not “factor in” constituency projects into the 2008 appropriation like you claimed. The National Assembly did. Obasanjo kicked against it, and you guys had a huge fight over this, remember? You even threatened him with impeachment; then you people went into your usual ‘clossed doors’ and came out with the Self-Accounting Bill. since then, you started making your own budgets yourselves, appropriating whatever you liked to yourselves. So don’t trying to deceive us with your manipulation of facts.

  • Garden-City Boy

    Neither Obasanjo nor the Senate is telling us the truth. They are hedging as each party holds the blackmail trump card against the other. They both believe we are fools -the reason they deal the “cards” close to their chests and shroud everything involving money in such secrecy that bothers on cultism.
    This is by no means the first instance of weighty armed robbery charge against NASS members by Obasanjo; it is indeed the second time he sticks the same deprecating “armed robber” tag on the Lawmakers. For it to take a second name-call to elicit Senate response suggests they were neither blind, deaf or dumb after all when the first charge was launched; it seems they merely let it slide with the wish that it got drowned in oblivion with the passage of time. The .delayed reaction far from indicates the lawmakers’ confidence to rally any meaningful push-back to counter the charge. What they have just done is, at best, an afterthought.
    The Yoruba man says “nkan wa inu-e”….there is no smoke without a fire. For Obasanjo’s castigation went far beyond the ‘CONSTITUENCY PROJECT” budget issue. He drummed hard on the thorny issue of the secrecy of NASS members’ scandalous salaries and allowances. But, while conveniently choosing to be blinkered on those other issues, Abaribe went to town with a boring, wish-washy rigmarole, as though those other more serious issues were never raised.
    These same NASS people benefited from Obasanjo’s N30 billion naira bribe paid to advance his (Obasanjo’s) delusional 3rd term ambition. Having thus been compromised, these NASS people then lost the moral spine to stand up to Obasanjo’s charge. Regardless of Obasanjo’s vindictive intent on a pound of Lawmakers’ flesh for non-delivery on a 3rd term tenure elongation conspiracy despite coughing up N30 billion to fund the ‘project’, the Senate’s response
    becomes half-hearted, unconvincing and, therefore, unacceptable. Abaribe needs to try something better than what sounds like ‘tales-by-moonlight”.

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  • emmy

    This allegation is similar to the one Oteh Arunma (DG SEC) made against the house and all hell broke loose. She even came with receipts and letters written by the chairman of the committee in charge of her parastatal’s oversight function demanding for kickbacks in the name of entertainment and sponsorship. So we knew we knew how the lawmakers arm twist the parastals during their ‘oversight’ functions

  • abujakenneth

    The problem of this country is NASS members. They have all the powers including to do away with an indolent president whenever they want but they refuse to do it because of parochial interest. NASS has the power to amend any law that is not active for example our anti-graft law. The constitution that vested so much power on the executive is their working tools they can amend as they want. Their power includes that of changing the appointment of police IGP and Service Chiefs but because they only represent their personal and family interests they choose to act otherwise. What OBJ said about arm twisting the MDA officials is quiet correct and I have evidence I can tender during public hearing if ever it comes. How can a body of 2000+ people budget N150b for themselves in a year when over 70% of the populace are living in less than $2 per day. If it is not wickedness, can someone tell me what else it is.

  • favourtalk

    Let them attack themselves very well because I know that by 2015, the power must change hand from both the Ex-looters and present thieves, me must all be free from all this corrupt government and people. We need a change right now and 2015 is the end of tyranically rule of GEJ