President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, has lamented the allegation by a former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega, that members of the National Assembly are bribe-takers.
Saraki described the comment as embarrassing.
Jega had on Monday 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, stressing that the scope of the anti-corruption fight should be extended to cover bribe taking and giving, especially in government agencies.
Jega had “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.”
At the plenary on Wednesday, Senator Isa Misau raised a point of order to call the attention of the Senate to Jega’s allegation.
Misau said, “My point of order is based on the lecture made during the Democracy Day (anniversary). President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was in attendance. During the lecture, the guest lecturer, who is an elder statesman and the former Chairman of INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, made a statement which I feel I have to bring it to this floor.