Four principal officers of the National Assembly have been accused of committing financial fraud totaling the sum of N630m.
According to Sahara Reporters, those involved in the alleged fraud include; Senate president, Bukola Saraki; his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu; House of Representatives Speaker, Yakubu Dogara; and his deputy, Lasun Yusuf.
The accusation against the four members was made by an advocacy group, Citizens Action to Take Back Nigeria (CATBAN), which said the four principal officers of the National Assembly executed the fraud by pressuring and using the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) to provide them with accommodation.
This is in spite of the fact that the monetization policy of the federal government bars all agencies from using taxpayers money for to meet personal demands of public officers outside the provisions of the law.
Sahara reporters, citing independent investigation it conducted by CATBAN, reports that in March 2016, the four principal officers of the National Assembly allegedly approached the management of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) to provide them with residential accommodation with a plan to allegedly divert money through accommodation requests.
The group said the requests were approved within 48 hours and followed with fund disbursement, an indication of the desperation to quickly get the money.
It alleged that the four principal officers then presented companies that doubled as estate agents and property owners for the exercise.
According to CATBAN, the companies used were Gogetit Investment Limited, which used a Zenith Bank account to receive the money, Legendark Consult Limited, which used a Guaranty Trust Bank account to receive its own share, and Pitch Global Services, which has an account domiciled with Heritage Bank.
CATBAN said it found that the sum of N630,125,499.90 was fraudulently paid by the FCDA for phoney renting, renovation and furnishing of four properties as official residences for Messrs. Saraki, Ekweremadu, Dogara and Lasun.
It alleged that Saraki and Dogara, presented residential properties owned by them as rented houses, Ekweremadu and Lasun did not present any residential property, but collected their share of the money.
CATBAN said the discoveries made during its investigation have put a huge question mark on the integrity of the National Assembly leadership and brought into sharper focus the sweeping corruption afflicting the country.