Hijack Of Budget To A Secret Location By Jibrin Was Not A Crime? – Appropriation C’ttee | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Hijack Of Budget To A Secret Location By Jibrin Was Not A Crime? – Appropriation C’ttee

Posted: Jul 30, 2016 at 6:13 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

…Says Report Was Accepted, Approved By The House

Members of the House of Representatives committee on Appropriation on Wednesday said that though, the ousted chairman of the committee, Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin (APC, Kano) worked on the 2016 budget with a consultant in an undisclosed location for three weeks, his action cannot be said to be criminal necessitating any external investigation by security agencies.

Deputy chairman of the Committee, Hon. Chris Azubogu (PDP, Anambra) who led other members to address the press in Abuja stated this in response to a question regarding the possible criminal quality of the allegation of “hijacking” of the budget to a “secret location” by Jibrin and his consultant.

Hon.  Azubogu had while delivering his statement on behalf of the committee accused the embattled former chairman of? single-handedly hijacking the process, thereby shutting out other members.

He said: “For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to state that a comprehensive collation of the reports of the budget from the various standing committees of the House was done by the appropriation committee which was in the process of deliberation when the ousted chairman unilaterally hi-jacked the entire budget to a hideout with his consultant without the consent of the committee”.

“That was the last time the Committee saw the budget; only for Hon Jibrin Abdulmumin to resurface about three weeks later, with a report purported to have come from the Committee”, he said.

Hon. Azubogu explained further that based on Jibrin’s unilateral decisions on behalf of the committee, complaints were made to the Speaker that he should be removed from his position as chairman.

“In his calm and peaceful manner, Mr Speaker sought to resolve the matter amicably in the overall interest of the House and the nation.

“But in his usual recalcitrant manner, Hon Abdulmumin preferred the confrontational approach which irked the Members to request for his urgent removal from office. This request was overwhelmingly supported by the entire House.

“In response to this demand by members, Mr Speaker had no choice than to act accordingly in order to maintain the integrity of the whole House”, he said.

However, in another breath, Azubogu stated that there was no offence known to the Nigerian law as budget padding.
Azubogu also defended Jibrin’s action, saying that there was no breach in the appropriation process that will warrant any external interference since there was no crime committed.

He said: “There’s no criminality in an assignment that was given to you. He was the chairman of the committee, he was carrying out the job the best way he felt he could do it. If people were calling him from all angles making demands, he couldn’t have done the work. So he went in where he will, when he finished the report, it was his duty to present it to the committee, and also present it to the leadership. If they go through it and approved, it is binding on the House. So whatever it is at the processes, whatever that happened there…is not a crime. He didn’t commit a crime. He was doing his work, that is my explanation to you on that”.?