The former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Dimeji Bankole, has opened up on how lawmakers shared the N10bn loan the House took from a commercial bank.
Bankole named the former Majority Leader of the House, Mr. Tunde Akogun; the Deputy Leader, Mr. Baba-Shehu-Agaie; and the former Chief Whip, Mr. Emeka Ihedioha, as the major beneficiaries of the loan.
He also listed the former Deputy Whip and contestant for the position of speaker, Mr. Aminu Waziri-Tambuwal; and former Minority Whip, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila (before he became the Minority Leader), as among the beneficiaries.
The former speaker, who made the revelations in a statement by his media aide, Mr. Idowu Bakare, in Abuja on Sunday, denied benefiting from the N10bn.
He also claimed that his former deputy, Alhaji Usman Nafada, did not benefit from the loan.
According to the former speaker, the House took the loan following a decision by all lawmakers to increase their quarterly allowances (running costs).
He said that the decision to take the loan was reached at a closed-door meeting held on March 30, 2010.
“The report was approved by the House in executive Session of March 30 2010”, the statement added.
Bankole claimed that contrary to insinuations that he and Nafada benefited from the loan, only other principal officers and members shared the money.
He insisted that before the increment in quarterly allocation, which necessitated the taking of the loan, he received N100m per quarter while Nafada collected N80m.
Bankole added that after the increment, the two presiding officers continued to receive the old rate.
However, he revealed that from N46m, Akogun’s allowance was jacked up to N60m, a difference of N14m.
Agaie now took home N57m, up from N43m, a difference of N14m.
Similarly, he said that Ihedioha’s was raised to N55m from N41m, with a difference of N14m, while Waziri-Tambuwal got N54.5m as against the old rate of N40.5m.
Gbajabiamila, who was receiving N36m per quarter, had his own jacked up to N50m.
The former speaker stated that other members, who hitherto received N28m each per quarter, raised theirs to N42m each.
By this new sharing formula, the six former principal officers were said to be sharing N456.5m every three months since March 30, 2010.
The document explains further, “Before the increment, quarterly allowance to the Office of the Speaker was N100m while his deputy received N80m.
How can it be that the just past 4th most powerful citizen of Nigeria was involved in corruption of such magnitude? The worst part is that very little action will be taken to recover the money Nigeria has lost through their activities, insignificant disciplinary measures will be taken against Dimeji Bankole and the others and nothing will be done to check such activity in the future.
For God’s sake isn’t N28m quarterly allowance, a salary of N10.69 million every month and several other benefits (disclosed and undisclosed) enough to take care of a man and his family?
Where is Nigeria headed with all this?