Abuja - Lawmakers lashed out at embattled House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara on Sunday, carpeting him for claiming that "padding" is not corruption and can only be considered a legislative process.
According to a Punch report, lawmakers expressed their anger over Dogara's utterances, maintaining that budget padding is illegal and an act that warrants prosecution.
The Speaker of the Kwara House of Assembly, Dr. Ali Ahmad, claimed that budget padding is an offence especially when other legislators were excluded from the process.
“Illegal padding is corruption because you are corruptly using the name of the House, to put something which the House is not aware of.”
Deputy Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Fatai Olotu, spoke in much the same vein as Dr. Ahmad, insisting that padding in nothing but a corrupt practice due to it having not been exposed to the majority of members having been left oblivious to it.
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In addition, Olotu blamed President Muhammadu Buhari as well as the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for keeping the matter a secret.
Gabriel Ogbara, representative of the Ogbia Constituency 3 in the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, stated that the act is deemed corrupt through the executive being kept in the dark over the matter.
“Padding is not a normal legislative process because it is not our duty as legislators to pad but if that is required, it means the legislature has to go back to the executive arm to know because you cannot add something which the executive is not aware of.
“So, it is corruption if the legislature fails to consult the executive to arrive at a consensus,” he said.
In a statement released on Saturday, Dogara claimed to have been misquoted in his utterances regarding budget padding, while stating that he did not represent himself as being above the law.
Dogara has insisted that he had been quoted out of context, while claiming that no funds were misappropriated in the 2016 budget.
Read more at Punch