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Mark, Bankole to buy official residences

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The four people that make up the leadership of the National Assembly; Senate President David Mark, his deputy Ike Ekweremadu, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, and his deputy Usman Bayero Nafawa , will soon be owners of choice real estate in Abuja.

They are to benefit from the largesse of President Goodluck Jonathan who has given permission to the four men to purchase their current living quarters. It is not clear what price has been put on the houses, but the commonwealth will pay for the president's generosity to the tune of N1.5 billion. This is the amount in the proposed 2011 budget - which NEXT got exclusive access to - that is to be spent on building new legislative quarters for the leadership of the Assembly.

At least one lawmaker is unhappy with Mr. Jonathan's decision and says it is a sign of how desperate the President has become, ahead of elections. "You know, there are so many things that he (Mr. Jonathan) wants from them (National Assembly leadership) so they are taking advantage of situation, '' the lawmaker said.


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