Monday, May 23, 2011

‘Bankole took personal loan with House account’

The outgoing Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole allegedly used the National Assembly accounts as collateral to secure the N10 billion loan which has pitched him against his colleagues in the House.

Yesterday in Benin, Edo State, a House of Representatives member, representing the Zagon-Kataf/Jaba federal constituency of Kaduna State, Godfrey Gaiya, said some members are aggrieved with the leadership of the House and the bank in question because Mr Bankole used the accounts of the National Assembly as collateral to access the loan as a personal fund.

Mr Gaiya added, however, that anybody was free to obtain loans from any bank in the country.
“Thank God he (Bankole) said it was a personal loan; he can collect whatever he wants as long as it is returned to the House. We are angry not only with Bankole, but with the bank,” he said.

“We are simply asking Bankole to sort himself out with the bank so that members’ entitlements are paid before the House is dissolved.”

Neither Mr Bankole nor his media aides were available for comment last night and calls put to his spokesperson, Kayode Odunaro, were unanswered.

The issue of the loan, which makes it hard for the leadership of the House to pay the entitlements of members is at the heart of a restiveness among the lawmakers, some of whom have launched efforts to sanction Mr Bankole. The other leaders of the House have, however, rallied around the speaker.

Eseme Oyibo, the spokesperson of the House, said this was done to ensure that the session ends without rancour.

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