Budget Padding: Abdulmumuni Jibrin Alleges Principal Officers Padded Budget By 60bn

Abdulmumuni-Jibrin-OnoBello

 

Less than 24 hours after he was removed as chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumuni Jibrin has made some shocking revelations involving the principal officers of the lower legislative chamber.

Jibrin claimed that Speaker Yakubu Dogara, his deputy, Mr. Sulaimon Yussuff Lasun, House Minority Leader, Mr. Leo Ogor and the House Chief whip, Mr. Ado Doguwa selfishly allocated projects worth N60 billion to their constituencies.

In a statement yesterday, Jibrin demanded the immediate resignation of the principal officers on the basis that they lacked the moral rectitude to remain in office. According to him, he decided to send in his resignation to free himself of mischief and consistent blackmail against his person on the issue.

He said: “ Mr. Speaker, this issue will never be swept under the carpet. We are closing for recess with it and we shall commence the next session with this issue. This was the last option they have after every attempt to find something to nail me failed. I am a very blunt person by nature. I don’t know how to pretend. I don’t do eye service, neither will I ever be a sycophant. I don’t give returns. I just do my job dedicatedly.

“My offence was asserting my independence and insisting we do the right thing at all times and expose corrupt people in the House. Lately, I openly disagree with some principal officers on the issue of immunity and budget issues. I still maintain that I will never support immunity. I strongly believe with every conviction that in cleaning up the budget system and considering what transpired during 2016 budget which I have all the facts documented, Speaker Dogara, Deputy Speaker Lasun, 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 naira 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 N20billion 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 every documented evidence to this effect.”

Revealing how he incurred the wrath of the Speaker, Jibrin claimed: “After the submission of the first version of the budget which was returned by Mr. President, I briefed members in executive session and 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. No body faulted my submission.

 

“Members insisted they must know how the N100 billion was allocated. I told them the truth. Since after that meeting, Mr Speaker with the suport of the three other principal officers effectively blocked me from briefing members.”ensured I was not at the last executive session and refused to investigate issues I raised that I believe must be addressed if we intend to build a better budget system for the House.

“I gave Mr. Speaker statistics of 2000 new projects introduced into the budget by less than 10 committee chairmen without the knowledge of their committee members. He did nothing about it because he was part of the mess yet he is talking about improving the budget system. I did nothing wrong. I worked within the rules of the House and instructions of Mr. Speaker.”

 

 


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