A group, Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, has described as a national embarrassment the lawmakers who followed wife of Senate President Bukola Saraki, Toyin, to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission’s office last week.
The wife of the Senate President was accompanied to the EFCC’s office in Abuja by 25 lawmakers.
According to the Executive Chairman of the CACOL, Debo Adeniran, that the lawmakers should abandon their constitutional duties to follow Mrs Saraki, who was being investigated for corruption charges by the anti-corruption agency, is the height of irresponsibility.
He said, “These national lawmakers and supposed representatives of the Nigerian people reportedly accompanied Mrs. Saraki, who had been invited by the anti-corruption agency to come and answer to an allegation of corrupt practice, in a show of solidarity with the accused. We are particularly disturbed and miffed at what has been termed not only a show of shame and gross irresponsibility but a clear anti-thesis of what their primary constitutional duty is.
“One cannot but wonder how far President (Muhammadu) Buhari would be able to go in his avowed war against corruption in this country, if the very lawmakers who are expected to give him the needed support through the provision of enabling legal framework with which to successfully prosecute the war, are openly, though tacitly, fraternising with corruption by turning themselves into bodyguards of a suspected corruption criminal.”
The CACOL boss accused the legislators of doing a job they were not elected to do. He added that the lawmakers’ action presupposed that they wanted to intimidate the EFCC in its task of tackling corruption.
“It’s sad that they chose to abandon their statutory role of lawmaking while playing the meddlesome interloper, thereby diminishing the exalted chambers they represent,” the CACOL boss said.
He likened the incident to what was witnessed during ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration, when a Peoples Democratic Party chieftain, Bode George, was accompanied by praise-singers, dressed in aso ebi to court premises in solidarity with the accused each time he appeared in court to answer to corruption charges.
He noted that the legislators’ act was a clear indication that some lawmakers in the National Assembly were “out to make the job of eradicating corruption, or, at least, stemming it to the barest minimum, by Buhari’s administration more complex and difficult than ever envisaged.”