– Some senators have pointed out loopholes in the anti-corruption war of the Muhammadu Buhari administration
– The lawmakers say the view that senators are the most corrupt people in Nigeria is untrue
Some senators of the federal republic of Nigeria have faulted the anti-corruption campaign of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration as being focused on the wrong people.
A cross section of senators attending a legislative retreat on budgeting for health at the Pan Africa Parliament in Johannesburg, South Africa told the Premium Times that the war on corruption should be focused on of civil servants instead of politicians.
The lawmakers said civil servants are tasked with budget implementation and rightly should be the focus of the war on corruption.
Pointing loopholes in Buhari’s anti corruption campaign, Senator Jonah Jang, who is former governor of Plateau state said while the focus was on politicians, most beautiful houses in Abuja are owned by civil servants.
Similarly, Theodore Orji dismissed the view that senators are the most corrupt people in Nigeria.
“I came to a senate where we are labelled the most corrupt people in Nigeria. While you cannot say we are all saints or sinners but we are not all corrupt. I said the legislators have been given power to do oversight functions in other countries….Even when you go for oversight functions, it is never implemented…..most time you have to lobby the executive to implement oversight reports.”
On his part, Lanre Tejuosho, the chairman of Senate committee on Health, said there is no money to steal under the present administration.
He said if Nigerians are labeling members of the National Assembly as thieves, they may be referring to senators prior to the current ones.
Similarly, Senator Sonny Ogbu Oji, the vice chairman of the appropriation committee said the National Assembly’s budget has been on downward slide.
He said people will fail to see the contribution lawmakers in government if they continue to this label them as corrupt.
Meanwhile, the anti-corruption campaign by the present administration may soon suffer setback if the Senate succeeds in its plans to amend the 1999 Constitution to protect lawmakers from all criminal and civil cases.
The Guardian reports that the bill by the senate proposing immunity for the lawmakers has been gazzetted and is being given accelerated legislative processing.
The amendment will grant immunity for Nigeria’s more than 1200 lawmakers at federal and state levels of government thereby absolving them of criminal and civil prosecution for at least four years.