3rd August, 2015
National Assembly Complex
The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) is a group of civil-society, community-based and other non-governmental organizations with the objective of fighting corruption and corrupt persons by any means possible at all levels in Nigeria.
As concerned Nigerian, our Coalition was taken aback last week to see the large entourage of Mrs. Toyin Saraki, wife of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, which comprised mainly of the elected ‘honourable’ lawmakers from both the higher and lower chambers of the National Assembly.
These lawmakers and supposed representatives of the Nigerian people, reportedly accompanied Mrs. Saraki, who was invited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to answer to allegations bothering on corrupt practices, in a show of solidarity with the accused.
It is disheartening that a total of twenty-five legislators could abandon their statutory duties to follow Mrs. Saraki to the office of the EFCC and waited for over six hours the exercise lasted.
The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL is particularly disturbed and miffed at what could be termed, not only a show of shame, but a clear departure from what their primary constitutional duties are.
Although they reserve the right to presume the innocence of Toyin Saraki until convicted, so could decide to show their support, but doing that at the detriment of their constitutional duties is highly reprehensible.
Meanwhile, our findings showed there were sittings in both the House of Representatives and the Senate on the said day, Toyin Saraki, went to the EFCC. This presupposes that the 25 lawmakers boycotted the sittings to perform the shameless role of ‘bodyguards’ to Mrs. Saraki. It is highly condemnable that our lawmakers would leave their statutory role of law-making while playing the meddlesome interloper, thereby diminishing the exalted chambers they represent.
As much as we do not have much against their show of shame, however, paying the lawmakers’ sitting allowances for these days they didn’t sit would amount to double jeopardy of our dear country.
To this end, since those who accompanied Toyin Saraki to the EFCC’s office didn’t attend the sittings, allowances due for these days are to be deducted from regular payments as a matter of must.
Aside withholding their allowances, we equally urge the leadership of the Assembly to query this untoward attitude of these ‘dishonourable’ parliamentarians, as failure to do so would encourage the perpetration of greater shenanigans by our elected lawmakers.
Thanking you for the anticipated understanding and cooperation while hoping you will address the matter with the utmost urgency it deserves.
Executive Chairman, CACOL