Ghali Na'abba, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, said on Sunday that former President Olusegun Obasanjo is the most corrupt person in Nigeria.
Na'abba, Speaker of the House of Representatives during President Obasanjo's first term, stated this while answering questions from journalists.
He also spoke about the current controversy over budget padding in the House of Representatives.
According to him: “I don't think there is anyone in this country more corrupt than the former president. I believe you are talking about former President Olusegun Obasanjo”.
“As chairman, I confronted Obasanjo on various offenses he committed, which he could not defend and for which he showed no remorse whatsoever. In fact, that is why the National Assembly at times tried to impeach him in 2002.
“So he doesn't have the integrity to call anyone corrupt. This is a man who became president without anything, today he is one of the richest Nigerians. Let him explain to Nigerians how he acquired all this wealth,” Na’Abba said.
On the alleged sharing of money during the extension of tenure with members of the National Assembly, Na'abba said: “I am aware that during the attempted extension of Obasanjo's tenure, money was shared with the members of the National Assembly “.
It was alleged that Senators collected N50 million while members of the House of Representatives collected N40 million.
“But I also know that it was not all members who raised this money. Some of them collected, some did not. But I am aware that money was shared.”
Responding to Speaker Yakubu Dogara's insinuation that padding is not an offence, Ghali Na'abba said: “It all depends on what angle you look at it from.
The responsibility for appropriation in this country lies with the National Assembly. So it is impossible that the National Assembly can vote anything and this will be called padding.”
“If you are talking about padding, which I believe is widely believed to be illegal, it must be a situation where certain members of the National Assembly will add certain expenditure items behind their colleagues.”
“If any expenditure item is added after other members, then that item can be said to be illegal and it can be called padding,” the former chairman said.