Alleged Budget Padding: Jibrin Opens More Cans Of Worms | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Alleged Budget Padding: Jibrin Opens More Cans Of Worms

Posted: Jul 25, 2016 at 6:06 am   /   by   /   comments (0)


Abuja – The sacked chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin, has again given fresh insights into the allegations of N40 billion said to have been demanded by Speaker Yakubu Dogara and other principal officers.

He also reiterated that his allegations are against the quartet of Speaker Yakubu Dogara, his Deputy, Yussuff Lasun, Chief Whip, Alhassan Ado Doguwa and Minority Leader, Leo Okuweh Ogor and not the House of Representatives as an institution.

In a statement he released on Sunday night, Jibrin gave further details with documents of how the budget harmonisation process headed by the Deputy Speaker, Yussuff Lasun, was manipulated and allocations shared among the listed members of the leadership, insisting that the accused quartet remain the subject of his allegations and not the entire House as they are trying to make it look.

His words: “When the budget harmonisation committee headed by Deputy Speaker Yusuf Lasun gave out 80% concession across board to the executive demands during the harmonisation negotiation, it was agreed that the remaining 20% should go to the entire NASS. The deputy speaker excused himself that he wanted to go and consult with Mr. Speaker. He came back after few hours and in an unprecedented display of greed presented to me a hand written note distributing the remaining 20% to only principal officers. 70% of the 20% was reserved for Mr. Speaker and himself while the remaining 30% of the 20% goes to other principal officers. I am sure he will recognise the hand writing when he sees it. My colleagues didn’t know all of these”.

“Mr. Speaker also directed me to create what I advised him will be a controversial line item under service wide vote to introduce about N20 billion project using the name of NASS. He directed me to see a highly placed PDP politician which I did and collected the documents. I advised him repeatedly against it but he kept pressuring me until I bluntly told him I will not!

“When the appropriation committee received all the budget reports from standing committees, an analysis was conducted. We discovered that about 10 only out of the 96 Standing Committees of the House introduced about 2,000 (two thousand) projects without the knowledge of their committee members amounting to about N284, 000, 000, 000. I was alarmed. But I was cautious because at our pre-budget meeting with the committee chairmen, I was clearly warned not to touch their budgets. I reported the matter to the speaker. He did nothing about it obviously because he was working behind the scene with the committee chairmen. That was the beginning of the whole budget problem from the side of the House and the whole exercise had to go through several versions before it was passed.

“So, is it Abdul that introduced 2000 projects into budget worth N284 billion? But I quietly bore the pain and abuses from all over the country and continue to defend the committee inputs as a show of loyalty to the institution I represent which I so much love and still have many great minds in there. Apart from Chairman, Agriculture, Hon Mongunu, who owned up and explained his inputs at the only executive session I was allowed to attend, the other few chairmen who loaded the budget kept quiet and watched me bashed from every angle by angry Nigerians”, he alleged.

He insisted his allegations are not against the entire House but those he mentioned earlier in his previous statement.

“I am compelled again for the purpose of emphasis to state categorically clear that my allegations are against the quartet of Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Deputy Speaker Yusuf Lasun, House Whip Alhassan Doguwa and Minority Leader Leo Ogor not the honourable House as an institution or other members of the body of principal officers”.

“The other members of the body of principal officers were to the best of my knowledge completely excluded from decisions on the 2016 budget and the budget inputs inserted on their names were exclusively carried out by these quartet.

“I have to state this very clearly because these quartet have resorted to desperate moves to drag the entire House of Representatives into the case of gross abuse of office I have levelled against them as individual presiding and principal officers of the House”, he said.

Jibrin described the attempt to drag the whole House into the controversy as “mischievous aimed at setting him against other members of the green chamber,” adding that the accused are desperate to harm him using corrupt police operatives.

“This is clearly a mischievous move to set me on collision with the entire House. They have also recruited four from the very few members of their cabal to use some elements of the Nigeria police to kidnap, harass, blackmail and intimidate me into silence.”