Activists have asked Nigerian President to investigate an explosive allegation by former minister of finance, Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, that lawmakers requested and were given a bribe of $47 million or 17 billion naira to pass the 2015 budget when former President Goodluck Jonathan was in power.
Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala, who worked for Mr. Jonathan, made the startling allegation on page 80 of her book “Fighting corruption is dangerous”.
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, (SERAP) in a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari on June 1, 2018, urged him to investigate the claim and reveal the “names of anyone that may have benefited from the public funds, and to ensure the recovery of proceeds of corruption.”
What’s new?: It’s not the first time Nigerian lawmakers are accused of requesting and receiving bribe from the presidency, but the allegation by the former minister went further by citing the amount and circumstances of the bribe, and by documenting it in a book. This explosive revelation comes months to a presidential election in Nigeria in February 2019. It also comes at a time President Buhari, who defeated Mr. Jonathan in 2015, is at loggerheads with members of the national assembly.
So why all this now?: SERAP, a human rights organization with suspected ties to the presidency, is asking for a probe that may indict Mr. Buhari’s political enemies ahead of a difficult election next year.
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