Legislative aides accuse Saraki, Dogara of corruption
Some legislative aides to federal lawmakers have accused Senate President, Bukola Saraki, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and the Clerk of the National Assembly, Sani Omolori, of diverting funds appropriated to them.
In a petition written to the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, the aides accused the trio of mismanaging the legislative aides’ account.
On Tuesday, legislative activities at the National Assembly were grounded as workers under the aegis of Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) protested over unpaid salaries, allowances and promotion arrears.
They practically prevented the Senate and the House of Representatives, as well as their committees, from sitting.
In the letter, dated November 19 and titled “Petition on criminal diversion of funds of legislative aides by the clerk and presiding officers of the 8th National Assembly,” the aides said they were being owed 13-month Duty Tour Allowance (DTA). Each side is entitled to the allowance, which amount to between N300,000 and N400,000 yearly.
Only two-quarters DTAs has been paid since the inauguration of the 8th National Assembly on June 9, 2015.
“We are also entitled to be trained four times yearly which was later compressed into twice a year. At the end of each training, each aide is entitled to a honorarium of N50,000 making a yearly total of N100,000,” part of the letter read.
They said there have been no training activities for the past three and half years despite the budgetary allocations for it.
The allocated funds “were neither used for the said activities nor were they returned to government coffers as unused funds.”
“The non-payment of these accumulated legitimate entitlements has turned legislative aides into legislative slaves. We have been pauperized to the extent that we are unable to meet our financial obligations like payment of school fees, hospital bills, house rents, debt serving, putting us into several embarrassing situations.”