…Over Bribery and Diversion of N48m by Principal Officers
By RABI’U DOGARA OMAKU
If the sharp practices allegedly being perpetrated by members of the Nasarawa state house of assembly currently is anything to go by, then the fight against corruption in the state is a big joke.
There were growing allegations that the Nasarawa lawmakers are using antics to collect bribes before screening nominees for juicy positions in the state. The same house of assembly members that refused to confirm the appointment of some former sole Administrators of Development Areas in Nasarawa state, are the same characters caught in the weighty bribery allegations.
The allegations are coming at a time that the state house of assembly banned one Ismaila Mohammed, a onetime sole Administrator of Loko from participating in politics for three years, a move which came as a shock to the embattled sole Administrator penalized on account of corrupt practices he allegedly carried out when the held-sway before they were dissolved. With the current situation at the legislative arm of government, the public continue to condemn the hydra headed monster – corruption – that snowballed the law making body eleven months after their investiture.
The recent brawl in the legislative arm of government over the N1,68,0000000 given by the executive governor to the state house of assembly to purchase vehicles to the lawmakers that are hell bent to fighting corruption are today found in the middle of corrupt practices which is about consuming the parliamentary arm of government in the state, some of the aggrieved lawmakers expressed displeasure over the procurement of fairly used vehicle by the leadership of the house, instead of purchasing a brand new one, a lawmaker who spoke on confidence to DESERT HERALD affirmed that the house resolve to purchase venza 2011 not the supplied venza 2010 which he said is old fashion.
Political observers in the state are insisting that the House leadership should furnish the members details of the N48m used for the purchase of the vehicles. It was gathered that the suppliers of the vehicles set aside N48m increasing the price of vehicle to N7m, it was reliably gathered that three Prado jeeps were procured for the speaker of the house of assembly including other principal officers and the clerk of the house.
Most of the members that are not contented with the development make phone contact in far away Lagos and Kano state on the prices of the vehicles, it reliably confirm that Venza 2010 cost N7m but the stock supplied to the house is Venza 2011 (old model)the member who spoke on the condition of anonymity expressed sadness and threaten to return the key of the new vehicle,” the tyres are even different while the engine is having series of marks.
The question that needed ardent answer is how committed is the house of assembly in its crusade of fighting corruption, other allegations raised are on the activities of the assembly in the intermittent foreign trips embarked by the members inspite of the economic downturn, it was reliably gathered that all the twenty four members were given N4.5m to embark on foreign trip to india, vast of the members did not embark on the said journey instead, the money went down the drain.
This has become a source of concern for those that embark on the foreign trip, other issues are on the constituency allowances given to the twenty four members in February has also raised public concern on the undisclosed amount given to the members, one of the members who was foist by electorate confided to DESERT HERALD that he was given N7m as constituency allowance, the member representing Doma north in the state house of assembly has broken the jinx for disclosing the amount doled out for people oriented project.
In eleven months the lawmakers embarked on foreign trips wasting tax-payers money. The recent foreign trip is the settlement of colossal amount for six members to embark on lesser Hajj in spite of the largesse they made, the broad spectrum populace is waiting keenly on the outcome of the event; can the corrupt officials go the way of the affected former sole Administrators or remain as the people’s representatives? Can their colleagues set up a probe panel to investigate the sharp practices levelled against them? As the saying goes ,” what is good for the goose is also good for the gander.
The clerk of the assembly, Ego Mai keffi when contacted by DESERT HERALD to present invoices of the procured vehicle failed as he referred our reporter to the press secretary of the state house of assembly to comment on the issue, an effort which was also futile.