Budget padding: Dogara, Jibrin, other principal officers are guilty – Reps group

Members of the Transparency Group, TG, in the House of Representatives yesterday said all 10 principal officers that disowned the former Chairman, Committee on Appropriation, Mr. Abdulmumin Jibrin, over the budget padding scandal were guilty.

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The ex-appropriation chairman had alleged that the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, and three other principal officers ‘padded’ the 2016 budget.

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The other three are the Deputy Speaker, Mr. Yussuff Lasun; the Chief Whip, Mr. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa; and the Minority Leader, Mr. Leo Ogor.

All the 10 principal officers had in a joint statement on Thursday last week, admitted that the sacking of Jibrin was a “collective decision”.

They are Dogara; Deputy Speaker, Yussuff Lasun; Majority Leader, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila; Chief Whip, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa; Deputy Leader, Buba Jibril; Deputy Whip, Pally Iriase; Minority Leader, Leo Ogor; Deputy Minority Leader, Chukwuka Onyeama; Deputy Minority Leader, Yakubu Barde; and Deputy Minority Whip, Binta Bello-Maigeri.

In its reaction, TG said despite the position taken by the 10 principal officers, the police, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission should proceed with the investigation into the allegations.

A member of the TG, Mr. Bashir Baballe, told The Newsmen that it was Lasun that chaired the committee set up by the National Assembly to review the first budget, which President Muhammadu Buhari refused to sign.

Baballe added that the President had rejected Jibrin’s version of the budget for lacking details and was returned to the National Assembly.

He added, “Mr. President returned the first budget, which both Senator Danjuma Goje and Jibrin worked on as the joint chairmen of the Senate and House Committees on Appropriation.”

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