Saturday, 1 March 2014
Lagos Speaker Corruption Trial: CSNAC Condemns Lagos State House of Assembly For Dereliction of Constitutional Duty
The Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC) has condemned the practice of members of the Lagos State House of Assembly of abandoning legislative duties to each time its Speaker, who is on trial for money laundering charges, is in court. Mr. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, has a court date.
Mr. Ikuforiji and an aide, Oyebode Atoyebi, face serious counts of corruption and embezzlement of public funds. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), filed 20 counts of money laundering and conspiracy against both men, alleging they accepted cash payments of up to N500 million from the House without going through a financial institution.
In a petition to the House, signed by CSNAC chairman Olanrewaju Suraju, the group slammed the behavior of the legislators. "We consider this action of honourable members on the referred matter as unbecoming, unacceptable and a gross misplacement of priorities".
The group drew attention to a recent experience in the House when the Speaker adjourned sitting apparently to allow members to attend the next trials scheduled for 18-21 February, 2013 at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi.
The statement held that touts and hoodlums were mobilised under the guise of "Stand Up for Lagos Group," a group previously unknown to the Nigerian public until yesterday, to not only attack members of CSNAC, but to also circulate fallacious.
“We are unperturbed by this display of recklessness, associated with accidental leaders of questionable character and background,” CSNAC said.
It reminded members of the House that they are paid their salaries, allowances and other perks from tax payers money and purportedly having earned a freely given mandate from Lagosians, they should at all times “prioritise the interest of the electorates by attending to parliamentary responsibilities and duties at the statutory periods rather than the unbecoming show of solidarity in a manner akin to the activities of rented crowds and political cheering of leaders under trial".
Said the group, "Members of the House of Assembly are expected to comport themselves in a manner that protects public interest and enhances public confidence and trust in the government as well as maintain high moral conduct in public office".
CSNAC is a coalition of over 150 anti-corruption organizations whose primary aim is to vigorously combat corruption, constructively and effectively monitor and support Anti-Corruption Agencies in their fight against corruption in order to rid Nigeria of the grievous consequences of corruption and evolve a culture of transparency, accountability as well as financial and moral probity.