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Senate responds to corruption allegations by Fmr Pres. Obasanjo

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The senate has reacted to the corruption
allegations leveled against it by the former
Pres. Olusegun Obasanjo while at a book
launch yesterday in Abuja. In a statement
released and signed by its spokesman, Senator
Enyinnaya Abaribe today, the senate frowned
at the allegations that they used their oversight
function to extort money, stating that the
oversight functions of the senate was the
initiative of the former president. The
statement reads in part;
“Ex- President Obasanjo for the avoidance
of doubt, was the initiator of the
constituency project in the year 2000 as a
means of ensuring that projects were
fairly spread across the country using the
Senatorial zones as the spring board.
To ensure execution of the projects,
Obasanjo again factored the constituency
projects into the annual budgets to be
implemented by the executive depending
on availability of funds. That is to say that
no lawmaker ever comes close to the
funds or even determine the contractor
for the said projects or when the said
contract would be awarded. So, it looks
curious and surprising that former
President Obasanjo would turn around
after over 10 years of initiating such a
project to allege that the National
Assembly is performing the function of
both the executive and the parliament. Is
it not preposterous for anybody to believe
that members of the National Assembly
would against the provisions of the
Constitution with regards to application of
separation of powers, award contracts ‘to
their agents to execute’ and expect the
Presidency under a President Obasanjo or
any other President for that matter to pay
for what they are not part of? Such
allegation stands logic on its head, as it
amounts to an indictment of the
Presidency for wilfully contravening the
budget laws by ceding its power to
execute to the National Assembly, if it was
the case.”

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