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Dogara, Lasun, Ogor should resign over budget scandal - Jibrin

22 July 2016, 12:12

Abuja - Representative Abdulmumin Jibrin former Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, has called on the Speaker Yakubu Dogara, his deputy, Yussuff Lasun, minority leader, Leo Ogor and Chief Whip, Ado Doguwa to resign.

Jibrin, who made the call on Thursday in Abuja in a statement issued to newsmen, said that the speaker and other principal officers should resign for alleged budget padding.

He accused Dogara and the other principal officers of illegally inserting and allocating projects worth over N20 billion to their constituencies in the 2016 budget.

He said that his refusal to inject another N30 billion into the budget for the speaker earned him the replacement.

He said: "Speaker Dogara, Deputy Speaker Lasun, Chief Whip Doguwa and Minority Leader Leo Ogor should resign.

"These members of the body of principal officers were not comfortable with my independent disposition and my refusal to cover up their unilateral decision to allocate to themselves N40 billion.

"The N40 billion is out of the N100 billion allocated to the entire National Assembly.

"The four of them met and took that decision in addition to billions of wasteful projects running over N20 billion they allocated to their constituencies. They must come out clean.

"My inability to admit into the budget almost N30 billion personal requests from Mr Speaker and the three other principal officers also became an issue.

"I wish I could but where will I get such money in a tight budget year like this? I have documented evidence to this effect," he said.

Jibrin said that he would release more and detailed statement in due course.

"Meanwhile, I intend to explore all internal avenues of the house to brief my colleagues in details and testify against Speaker Dogara, Deputy Lasun, Whip Doguwa and Minority leader Leo Ogor on why they should resign.

"If I am not allowed to exercise my privilege, I shall consider legal options.

"I can no longer bear the brunt of abuses and baseless allegations of keeping quiet all in the name of confidentiality expected of an appropriation chairman.

Also read: Full implementation of budget may be difficult, says CBN

"I will not allow anybody no matter how highly placed to destroy my life," he said.

Jibrin said that after the submission of the first version of the budget which was returned by the President, he briefed his colleagues in executive session.

"I told them as agreed at our pre-budget meeting with chairmen and deputy chairmen of standing committees; we simply adopted their reports with little amendments.

"Nobody faulted my submission. Members insisted they must know how the 100 billion was allocated. I told them the truth.

"Since after that meeting, Mr Speaker with the support of the three other principal officers effectively blocked me from briefing members."

He said that he did nothing wrong, adding that he worked within the rules of the house and the instructions he got from the speaker.

The former chairman said the offence that led to his replacement was asserting his independence and his insistence to do the right thing at all times and exposes corrupt people in the house.

"Lately I openly disagree with some principal officers on the issue of immunity and budget issues. I still maintain I will never support immunity."

In his reaction, the spokesperson of the House of Representatives, Representative Abdulrazak Namdas debunked the allegations made by Jibrn.

He said: "the statement made by the former Chairman of House Appropriation Committee, Representative Jibrin is false.

"It is the prerogative of the Selection Committee of the House to appoint and remove Committee Chairmen.

"The power has been so exercised in the case of Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin as chairman of Appropriation Committee.

"Most of the allegations on the 2016 budget process and his opposition to immunity for presiding officers are non issues and mere after thought manufactured simply because the House relieved him of his position.

"If he had all these facts before, why didnt he make them public? Why is he doing that now?

"Honourable Abdulmumin Jibrin, like any other member of the House knows that there are conventions and precedents as it relates to budgets and projects for principal officers of the National Assembly.

"We must make it abundantly clear that he was not removed because of his support or otherwise on immunity bill. After all he is not the only one who opposed the bill."

Namdas stated that the bill was still pending before committee on the review of the constitution.

"It has to be voted upon by every member of the House.

"It must get Senate concurrence, endorsed by two-third of the 36 State Houses of Assembly and be assented to by the President.

"It is cheap blackmail on the part of Hon. Jibrin to even insinuate that he was removed because he opposed immunity bill," he said. 



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