Alleged Budget Padding: House Refers Jibrin To Ethics Committee
The former chairman of the House of Representatives Appropriation Committee, Honourable Abdulmumin Jibrin, has been referred to the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges to defend allegation of budget padding he made against Principal officers of the House.
The decision was reached on Wednesday, after a motion on the issue frayed nerves and made the plenary rowdy.
After the House was called to order, the motion suggesting that Honourable Jibrin’s allegation should be investigated by the committee was put forward for voting.
A lawmaker had told the House that “Honourable Jibrin embarked on a campaign of calumny and denigration by making false and scandalous statements and publication in print and electronic media against all members of the House of Representatives collectively”.
In another motion, a lawmaker sought the investigation of the former House Committee Chairman on Appropriation, Honourable Abdulmumuni Jibrin, for allegedly heaping corruption allegation on the entire House and the Speaker.
Announcing the motions of the House members again, Speaker Yakubu Dogara, a major name in Honourable Jibrin’s allegation, said that the House had agreed to refer the above matter and Honourable Jibrin to the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges for proper investigations.
The Committee is to submit its finding to the House within one week and make appropriate recommendations, a motion that got massive support of the House members, with many cheering the Speaker up, chanting; ‘Dogara! Dogara!! Dogara!!!.
The issue began when Honourable Jibrin accused the Speaker of unlawfully using his position to divert monies meant for constituency projects, for personal use, an allegation the Speaker denies.
However, in a unanimous decision, the House agreed that the Ethics Committee should commence immediate investigation of Honourable Jibrin for “misconduct and heaping allegations of budget padding on the House”.
Jibrin had in July accused the House principal officers, including the Speaker, of having attempted to pad the 2016 budget with 40 billion Naira constituency projects.
After that allegation, he submitted enough documents to the anti-graft agencies, saying they were evidences to back his allegations on padding of the 2016 budget by the House of Representatives.
He told Channels Television in an exclusive interview that some of the documents would nail some of his colleagues he had mentioned in the padding saga.
The lawmaker said that he had called for the security of the appropriation office and his office at the National Assembly where more indicting documents were.
He expressed readiness to help fight corruption in the National Assembly.
Officials of the Department of State Security Service (DSS) had after his statements sealed the Office of the House Committee on Appropriation.
On August 1, he made true his threat to submit more documents to back his allegation of budget padding against some members of the House.
Honourable Jibrin submitted a petition at four Federal Government agencies against the Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara and 11 others.
The petition was submitted at the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Department of Security Services (DSS) and the Police headquarters all in Abuja.
Speaking with reporters shortly after submitting his petition at the ICPC, Representative Jibrin said that if the accused could be prosecuted, found guilty and sent to jail, it would send out a powerful signal of President Muhammadu Buhari’s war against corruption.
After he submitted the new documents he wrote on his Twitter account: “My lawyers have confirmed my appointments for today with security and anti-corruption agencies to personally provide insight on my petition”.
The Presidency had taken interest in the saga, inviting the lawmaker for talks with the Presidential Advisory Committee on Corruption.
He was asked to brief members of the committee on the details of the allegations.
The meeting was held behind closed-doors on Wednesday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital and lasted for about four hours.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, Honourable Jibrin said his allegations were not about settling scores with the Speaker of the House, Honourable Yakubu Dogara.