Mr. Obasanjo, who was speaking at the public presentation of the autobiography of Justice Mustapha Akanbi, in Abuja, regretted that every aspect of Nigeria’s national life is riddled with corruption. However, he said there were a few exceptions and people who stand out and would not succumb to the scourge of sleaze, even in the federal legislature. In a speech he delivered at the public presentation of “The Story Of My Two Worlds; Challenges, Experiences And Achievements” written by Justice Akanbi, the pioneer chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Related Offences Commission, the former president said the National Assembly, which he said is shrouding its corruption in the opaque nature of its budget, has damaged its capacity to oversight the executive. He accused the President Goodluck Jonathan-led executive of making direct payments to the legislature in order to cover up its wrong doings. “Apart from shrouding the remunerations of the National Assembly in opaqueness and without transparency, they indulge in extorting money from departments, contractors and ministries in two ways,” Mr. Obasanjo said.
“They do so during visits to their projects and programmes and in the process of budget approval when they build up budgets for ministries and departments, who agree to give it back to them in contracts that they do not execute. They do similar things during their inquiries.” SEE MORE ON PAGE 2