Corruption stokes fight in Nigeria`s parliament

Nigeria`s House of Representatives witnessed a ruckus with some of its members alleging that the Speaker, was involved in misappropriation of funds allocated for the parliament.

Last Updated: Jun 23, 2010, 12:27 PM IST

Abuja: Nigeria`s House of Representatives
wEDNESday witnessed a ruckus with some of its members alleging
that the Speaker, was involved in misappropriation of funds
allocated for the parliament.

The members, who alleged that Oladimeji Bankole had
embezzled at least USD 59 million from 2008 to 2009, had been
suspended by a vote in the parliament about a month ago.

However, the group which calls itself "progressives" did
not accept the suspension and protested vehemently leading to
fisticuffs and consequently two members were injured.

According to the suspension motion, "The recent attacks
on the speaker and principal officers of this honourable house
on television and the pages of newspapers have cast a serious
dent on the image of this honourable house."

The complaining members led by Dino Melaye, were later
pushed out of the parliament by security operatives.

The country`s anti-corruption police, the Economic and
Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has vowed to investigate
the alleged embezzlement.

The oil rich African country has been battling institutionalised corruption for some years now.
The last speaker of the parliament Patricia Etteh was
impeached after being accused of corruption.

Many ex-governors have been arrested by the EFCC on corruption charges and the cases are still pending in courts.

Recently, the chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Vincent Ogbulafor resigned after being accused of
accumulating wealth through corrupt means.

PTI