A New Vocab in the Nigeria House of Representatives: I Took ‘Money’ Not Bribe

By Prof Femi Ajayi*

NIGERIAN lawmakers came under attack as former president Olusegun Obasanjo called them armed robbers at a function in Lagos. As Nigeria lawmakers Obasanjo inquired “what sorts of laws do they make?”

The lawmaking-robbers at the National Assembly did not think genuinely when they challenged the statement credited to Obasanjo that the House has been infected with ‘termites’. The message was that they are using their positions at the National Assembly to rob the country of its progress. Unfortunately, the majority of the lawmakers are from the majority party at the National Assembly, the PDP.

When you have very junky home where all sorts of items are deposited, gari, black eye peas, spaghetti, rice, flour of all sorts, just in the name of stocking the house with food items, definitely there will be problems with rats, cockroaches possibly some deadly reptiles. The problems could be controlled by setting traps to get the rats in not inappropriately arranged storage. Sometimes the traps could hurt the trapper if care is not taken.

Nigerians may not have to be reminded of the gauche situation at the National Assembly that has been polluted with fraudsters, 419ers, Kidnappers, Criminals, Murderers, Killers, Assassins, Election Riggers, Crooks, Certificate Counterfeiters, the Yahooers, Scammers, Spouse Abusers, Human and Children Traffickers, and the list goes on.

Hey, do not crucify me, I did not cook the ‘soup’, please direct your anger to the former President of Nigeria, Chief Mathew Aremu Okikiola Olusegun Obasanjo who has labelled them as robbers and thieves.

Corroborating Obasanjo’s allegation against the Nigeria lawmakers, Prof. Pat Utomi, while addressing a Youth Group in Lagos, May 27, 2012, revealed that a current (2012) member of the Senate duped him.

There are many Nigerians that would have something to say to that experience. Who knows if an individual who duped me of my container clearance and my shipped car to Nigeria in 2009 are members of the syndicate at the National Assembly today 2012, or have been swept out by their people in 2011 elections.

The status of some members of the National Assembly was stated in 2008, when the former Deputy Inspector General of Police at Force Criminal Investigation Bureau, CIB, ‘Chicken Nugget’ Senator Nuhu Aliyu, chickened out from his threat to name fraudsters in the National Assembly, during the debate on EFCC. Senator Nuhu Aliyu among other things stated that

“In this National Assembly, we still have 419ners. Mr. President, the Police were in a very hopeless situation. I was in charge of the Force CID and the person now replacing him served under me directly. Mr. President, without enacting that law, EFCC law, the 419ners had a field day, the police knew them, knew what they were doing, and the Police could not on their own jail them; they had to take them to court. Those who collude with ‘419ers’ and stole millions of US dollars have themselves to blame because of their greed. Mr. President (of the Senate), I have said it before, but I am repeating it today without regrets, that there are still ‘419ers’ in this National Assembly.”

Read on www.nigeriaworld.com, titled “THE RULE OF LAW ACCORDING TO ‘CHICKEN NUGGET’ NUHU ALIYU”, Monday, February 4, 2008.

In the same vein Senator Ali, former PDP Chairman, in 2006 described some PDP members in the National Assembly as “Rascals and idiots”, “Empty Barrels” “Rats”. Again check it out on www.nigeriaworld.com, titled “RASCALS” AND “IDIOTS” AT THE NIGERIAN NATIONAL ASSEMBLY, I DON’T THINK SO; NEVERTHELESS……., May 30, 2006; and in “ARE THE KNOWN NIGERIAN PDP PRESIDENTIAL ASPIRANTS FOR 2007 “EMPTY BARRELS”, “RATS” OR “BIGGER RATS”? Friday June 16, 2006.

Obasanjo in May 2012 reminded Nigerians the categories of the National Assembly members he has personally assembled since 1999 till date, 2012.

The only surviving member of the House of Representatives Class of 1999, Farouk Lawan, have graduated through the polluted House of ‘Toronto Trained’, ‘Santa Claus’, ‘Home Renovation’, ‘Loan Taking’, and ‘House Leadership Coup Plotter’ Speakers. It is the same Farouk Lawan, the arrowhead of the so-called ‘integrity group’ that spearheaded the removal of Patricia Etteh as Speaker in 2007 for allegedly spending N680 million renovating her official quarters? The same infected House cleared Etteh of any wrong doing. What a repugnant charlatan!! Farouk is reaping from the seed he sowed. The only surviving member of the class of 1999 should take a bow and face the peoples’ court.

Studies have shown that people who champion high moral standards are among the worst cheats. The worst cheaters tend to be those with high morals who also, in some twisted way, consider cheating to be an ethically justifiable behavior in certain situations, as being shown by the unfolding events in the National Assembly.

The oil subsidy report was voted in favor of the companies that played along with the Ad-Hoc Committee, while those who refused to grease their hands were indicted. When Zenon Oil Company succumbed with some ‘money’, not ‘bribe’, given to its Chairman, Farouk Lawan, Zenon’s name and two others were removed from the list of fifteen. The Committee of the Whole was Chaired by the Deputy Speaker, Emeka Ihedioha, who might have been briefed about the ‘money’ which explained why he called on “Farouk Lawan to speak on item 29” during the consideration on the house floor.

The report was brought back to the House floor again, chaired by the Speaker, after the discovery the type of oil that greased the Ad-hoc Committee Chairman’s hand and voted to keep the Zenon Oil Company on the list of the companies to be indicted. Definitely, the Ad-hoc House Committee report on oil subsidy has been legally tainted.

We believe that quite a number of Ad-hoc Committee members have received part of the ‘money’ from the Zenon Oil Company and from other two Companies. Given that the ‘money’, as of now (July 2, 2012), has not been deposited with the Nigerian Police Force, as requested, could mean that it has gone to the Crocodile throat for good.

Farouk, in April 2012, openly claimed that an attempt was made to bribe him, and some people threatened his life over the subsidy probe. In June 2012, Farouk “… categorically deny that I or any member of the committee demanded and received any bribe from anybody in connection with the fuel subsidy probe…” He reiterated again at media crossfire that “there is no connection between my committee and the fuel probe committee and I was not given anything please. Thank you for calling to confirm from me.”

At the blink of an eye when there was no more hidden excuse for him, he converted the “categorical” denial to have “received any bribe” to “received money” from the Zenon Oil chief to implicate him. What a witty joker. Nigeria is being taken to another vocabulary level, as “bribe” is in a vacuum, while “money” is the object given in exchange for something, not “bribe”. That was after thought when he realized that he was in trouble with the SSS marked money, EFCC and the Police.

Lie is a common phenomenon in our daily life, and it is often tied to deep psychological factors with something to do with self-esteem. When Farouk realized that his self-esteem has been threatened, he resolved to change the story that he wanted to implicate the Zenon Oil chief, and he took ‘money’ not ‘bribe’. The University of Massachusetts Psychologist Robert Feldman put it straight that “We find that as soon as people feel that their self-esteem is threatened, they immediately begin to lie at higher levels.” Farouk colleagues are rejecting him which could cause a setback in his 2015 Kano State gubernatorial ambition and started lying before he was suspended.

Farouk allegedly asked, demanded, and requested for the money from the Zenon Oil chief to expose him as he has exposed other oil marketers whose company’s names were removed since they danced to the masquerade rhythm on the oil money. Where is the money if it were taken to expose the Zenon Oil chief’s company, it should have been released immediately? He would possibly retrieve the money from the stomach of the rats in the House, or from the House members’ throats who he shared the money with. The money should have been kept under safe lock. Where is the money if it has not been distributed or spent? Luckily the monies were marked.

It is an eye-saw practice of the members of the National Assembly, and they have to prove to the entire Universe that, they are not corrupt. They have to convince an average Nigerian that they do not: inflate contracts costs through their offices; have pseudo companies under their control; patrol the Federal offices for contracts; give notes for employment and seeking favor for their loved ones; hide under un-constitutional allowances; and usurp position from individuals that the people wanted to represent them at the National Assembly.

It is more honorable for them to be silent and prove Obasanjo wrong by their acts and services to the Nation. Power Committee was set up and they took the advantage and got corrupted with their oversight services. They set up committees on Abuja land allocation; they were caught in the spider webs demanding for lands from the agency. They set up committee on Security and they found their members as sponsors of Boko Haram. They set up Committee on Child Molestation; they were caught with their pants down with teenagers. They set up committee on corruption they were found with tainted billions or trillions in their homes and bank accounts.

In August 2010, the House of Representatives indefinitely suspended consideration on the anti-money laundering bill, which President Goodluck Jonathan, has twice urged for a speedy delivery against a global deadline. The lawmakers continue to hide under the lawmaking process to loot the public treasury.

Farouk has proved that stealing could actually land anyone in the Nigeria House of Assembly through the Otedollar money giver, not the bribe giver, which he never asked for. After the wildest entertainment in his money giver’s house, not bribe giver; definitely the Zenon Oil chief cannot be prosecuted because he did not give bribe, he gave money. Unfortunately for Farouk, little did he realize that the dollars he put in his pockets and cap were marked for subsidy’s sake? Farouk sincerely displayed his uncontrolled greed, after the anointment of his mouth with chilled Oyinbo wine, his pocket and cap were stuffed with dollars and the money runneth over for EFCC and SSS to trace. Surely, dishonor and admonishment shall follow him all the days of his life and he will dwell in the house of shame for ever and ever.

As a woman beats her son for stealing; after thorough beating the woman asked her son where he thinks the stealing would lead him. The son joyfully responded that, it will be at the Nigeria National Assembly.

Possibly the University Computer Engineer Graduate, in Ibadan turned Okada operator would join the set of robbers in the House, as he joyfully reacted that he would turn into armed robber if and when okada is totally banned on the Nigerian streets. It has confirmed Obasanjo’s statement that the National Assembly is full of robbers, robbing with their lawmaking process. Regardless how the bribery or money emanated from, rouge is rouge.

It is very disturbing that everyday we turn into the internet or reading from the Nigerian Dailies or Magazines keep reading about a block buster corruption revelation that makes someone wonders whether Nigeria belongs to another planet.

Probably Boko Haram should have launched its onslaughts at Farouk constituency, Shanono, Kano, which he has represented since 1999, to display their anger, going by Sanusi Lamido Sanusi’s theory that high poverty level is a factor in Boko Haram insurgent; assuming that some of the monies collected as bribes ought to have come to the community instead of ending up in his pocket. Who is sure how much of such bribes, as the Education House Committee Chair, he have collected and from other sources, while the monies ought to have been used to better the conditions of his Shanono Constituency, Kano, he has represented since 1999.

Citizens of Shanono should recall him and send him to Amazon or Western Congo Basin to be with the ancient Australian Aborigines the world’s first stargazers, pre-dating Stonehenge and Egypt’s pyramids by thousands of years. Or Farouk can go to the Aka in Central African Republic and Northern Congo, the Baka in southern Cameroon, and the Twa in central Zaire River basin to sell his story of money collection not bribe taking and not in Nigeria.

Where lay the honor of the members of the dishonourable incubating house of Corruption in Nigeria representing their fellow robbers. Something must be done to cleanse the Lawmakers in the country, which has been turned into a trading center for Naira, Dollars and Euros, at the National Assembly, State Assemblies and the Local Government Councils. SNILWAR must come to play in this cleansing program.

The probe panels should continue by the National Assembly as part of its oversight responsibilities, however, under the microscope of the eagle eyes of Nigerians. The probes should be taking away from a shake-down enterprise. It should deviate from when the victims refuse to shake body, when there are personal grouse or animosity against the subjects of the probe that they get indicted. It should not be where the victims refuse to play ball, they mount vicious attack on them.

The current report should be rejected by the Federal Government and set up an Independent Commission of Inquiry on Oil Subsidy. This must be set up immediately, televised live the hearings and report within a month of its inauguration. There is no law enforcement agency that can commence any prosecution of those indicted by the HOR Ad-hoc Committee report on a case that would be lost in the law court as the report has been seriously tainted. Any company or individuals found culpable must be prosecuted to the last letter of justice.

Ironically when Nigerians are having such hard time finding someone to trust or something to feel good about their government and country, what they get is the deduction that anything about Nigeria is corruption. Nigerians are making the best of a desperate situation. Ironically Nigeria leadership and those elected or appointed to represent Nigerians are not giving them much to be happy, proud or optimistic about.

Should anyone take Nigeria too seriously watching what is going on at the National Assembly? It seems that some Nigeria National Assembly members have corruption as their badge of honor. Is corruption a Nigerian culture or a way of life of its people? Ironically, it is a culture every Nigerian wants to end.

Who would be trusted within the members of the Nigerian House of Representatives to get the truth from the oil subsidy imbroglio? Those tainted members of the National Assembly should bury their heads in shame and do what is right for Nigerians.

If Farouk had wanted to implicate Zeon Oil Company he could have been smarter than what he did. He went to the Zenon Oil chief house not minding the modern technology; stuffed his pockets and cap with the marked money unknown to him.

Good Nigerians are appealing to the polluted members of the National Assembly, while conducting their oversight responsibilities, should stop embarrassing the country

*culled from www.nigeriavillagesquare.com

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