- Share TV sets, air-conditioners, refrigerators, others to aides
Incoming members of the 8th National Assembly may not have a smooth start upon inauguration in early June as their predecessors have looted the property in their offices.
Some of the outgoing Senators and members of the House of Representatives turned themselves to Father Christmases as they shared the public property which they could not carry away to their aides in the National Assembly.
Their action came a few days to the swearing-in of President-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, who has vowed to fight corruption in the country to a standstill.
Some senior workers of the National Assembly told Nigerian Pilot yesterday that the action of the lawmakers would be an acid test for the much-advertised anti-corruption crusade of the Buhari administration.
They wondered why the lawmakers should cart away public property, which they inherited from their predecessors.
Nigerian Pilot confirmed from the benefitting aides that they were given items such as televisions and computer sets, rugs, tables, chairs, pictures, electronics, refrigerators, among others as parting gifts for their dedicated services.
Some of the recipients were seen yesterday with the items amidst excitement.
One of the legislative aides, who pleaded anonymity, said they got refrigerators as parting gifts from the lawmakers they served.
The aide said that they had since taken the refrigerators home for personal use.
Another aide also pointed out that computer sets and tables were given to office assistants and drivers, respectively.
Even some members of staff of the National Assembly were given souvenirs by their lawmakers.
When our correspondent visited the new wing of the House of Representatives, it was almost empty except for the book shelves, tables and chairs.
Nigerian Pilot gathered that the National Assembly bureaucracy has resolved to deduct from severance allowances the cost of the property that the affected lawmakers had taken away.
A source said that the deducted money usually ranges from N100, 000 to N300, 000 depending on the item(s).
It was also revealed that re-elected lawmakers can maintain their current offices if they so wish. According to sources, “what the person should do is to write formally to the management of the National Assembly.”
Our correspondent also saw a memo which shows that a lawmaker must write to the Sergeant-at-Arms notifying him of his or her intention to move certain property out of the Assembly Complex.
It was learnt that some of the lawmakers had written the National Assembly management to move certain items out of their offices while others ignored the rule.
The National Assembly management had issued a procedural directive to the lawmakers to remove their personal belongings in order to prepare the offices for reallocation ahead of the June 6 inauguration.