The House of Representatives is neither a den of corruption nor a gang of armed robbers.
The lower legislative chamber made this rebuttal yesterday following claims by former President Olusegun Obasanjo that its dealings were steeped in unscrupulousness.
It said the former leader lacked the moral right to question its integrity, concluding no office holder was ever as corrupt as the retired General.
Obasanjo, at the First Akintola Williams Annual Lecture in Lagos during the week, had described the nation’s legislature as stinking to high heavens.
Spokesperson for the House, Abdulrazak Namdas, who briefed reporters at the National Assembly Complex, Abuja, particularly described Obasanjo as greatest in the annals of corrupt leadership in the country.
The lawmakers cleared the air on controversy surrounding alleged padding of the 2016 budget and allegation by Obasanjo that the N115 billion budget of the Assembly was over bloated.
They said his tirades come with little surprise since singlehandedly the National Assembly had aborted his purported and unconstitutional bid for a third term in office.
The lawmakers noted: “The House of Representatives would ordinarily not join issues with the former President, as he has held an office that deserves respect and reverence. However, because of the material misstatement of facts, outright lies and falsehoods, and mischievous innuendoes introduced in his statement, we are left with no option but correct him.
“Have we forgotten the sacks of money displayed on the floor of the House of Representatives, being bribe paid by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo to some members to impeach Speaker Ghali N’abba? Have we forgotten that Chief Olusegun Obasanjo used his position as president to extort money from businessmen and contractors with his government to build his presidential library?
“The list of his corrupt acts while in office is endless. Unquestionably, he is the greatest corrupt person ever to hold office in Nigeria. He remains the grandfather of corruption in Nigeria and lacks the moral authority to discuss corruption or indeed abuse of office, as he remains the most corrupt Nigerian on record.
“Undoubtedly, former President Obasanjo is understandably angry with the National Assembly as an institution, having foiled his ambition for a third term in office, even after trying to corrupt the members with a bribe of at least N50 million each. Lest we forget, the person who introduced corruption to the National Assembly is Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.”