* Alleges Attempt To Cover Halliburton, Siemens Corruption Allegations
Teddy Nwanunobi, Abuja
Apparently not satisfied with the response from the Senate President, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki, Senator Dino Melaye on Thursday took a swipe at former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s allegation that members of the National Assembly are corrupt and greedy politicians.
In his response to Obasanjo’s letter, Saraki maintained that the leadership and membership of the 8th Senate “are committed to good governance, transparency, accountability, due process and responsiveness to the economic reality of our nation”.
But Melaye, who currently chairs the Senate Committee on FCT, claimed on Thursday that Obasanjo’s regime was responsible for the introduction of bribery and corruption in its desperate attempt to remove the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Ghali Umar Na’Abba, from office.
Melaye also expressed hope that Obasanjo’s letter was not in “an attempt to cover up and distract attention from the Halliburton and Siemens corruption allegations”.
He also claimed that Obasanjo’s letter was a misplacement of anger.
Melaye explained that Obasanjo may have mistaken the 8th National Assembly as the same Senate Assembly that defrauded him in 2007, after the senators then collected his money, but refused to implement Obasanjo’s 3rd term agenda.
“I have tremendous respect for President Olusegun Aremu Okikiola Obasanjo. Elder statesman, respected pan Africanist and committed patriot.
“I went through the letter written to all senators and members of the House of Representatives. The letter, I can see, is a misplacement of anger.
“Our leader is mistaking the 8th National Assembly as the same Senate Assembly that defrauded him in 2007. Those, who collected his money, and refused to implement the 3rd term agenda. I appeal to ‘Baba’ that we are not the ones, please. After 9 years of that bribery saga, the first of its kind, I expect forgiveness (from Obasanjo) to have taken place.
“There was the case of bribery introduced by the Obasanjo regime in the desperate attempt to remove Speaker Ghali Umar Na’Abba from office then. In fact, there was open display of that bribery money on the floor of the House.
“That (Obasanjo’s) government exposed the National Assembly to corruption and easy money. I hope this is not in an attempt to cover up and distract attention from the Halliburton and Siemens corruption allegations.
“While I am against corruption anywhere in Nigeria, I will not support accusations based on anger and vindictiveness. The 8th Senate should also look inwardly and purge herself of all the deliberate misgivings of the past. Nigeria must work and we must support the anti corruption stand of the Buhari administration. God bless Nigeria,” Melaye said in a late statement.
In his reply to Obasanjo’s letter earlier, Saraki promised to outline what the 8th Senate is doing to address the former President’s concerns.
“As a former President and a father of the nation that we all hold in high esteem, I intend to reply the letter and outline the actions the Senate is taking to address his concerns.
In conclusion, I appreciate President Obasanjo for his consistent role in always reminding those of us in government about our responsibilities to the general public and offering timely advise where necessary,” Saraki added.