According to reports, the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties has demanded that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, and other Principal Officers of the House, who were named in the budget padding and abuse of office allegation by their colleague, Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin, must step aside to allow the House and security agencies to investigate the matter.
The decision was taken at a meeting by the national leadership of the umbrella body of all political parties in Nigeria, which held in Abuja on Tuesday, following its independent investigation into the matter.
The CNPP, in a statement jointly signed by its National Chairman, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, and the Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu, at the end of the meeting, vowed “to mobilise Nigerians to occupy the National Assembly if the Speaker and his accused colleagues refuse to listen to the voice of reason”.
The body maintained: “It is out of place for the House leadership to continue to be the Judge in their own case”.
The statement added: “The best way to lay to rest the budget padding allegation is for the Speaker and the principal officers of the House to step aside. Anyone whose hands are clean should not be afraid to submit himself or herself for investigation.
“To us, the budget fraud allegation running into billions of naira is grave enough for the leadership of the House of Representatives to disqualify itself from presiding over the House to allow for internal self-cleansing and to give room to the security agencies to do a thorough job.
We are amazed that the House leadership has remained adamant even when the integrity of the entire House of Representatives is at stake.
“We, therefore, demand that the leadership of the House of Representatives step aside and allow a full scale investigation of the alleged budget fraud and abuse of office by relevant security agencies.
“It is true that the House leadership has denied the allegations but our findings, after CNPP investigated the matter, show that they have a case to answer.
“It is out of place for the House leadership to continue to be the Judge in their own case as they have continued to occupy their positions despite the lingering allegation that has now gotten to a deafening level.
“We shall be left with no option than to mobilise Nigerians to occupy the National Assembly if the Speaker and his accused colleagues refuse to listen to the voice of reason and tow the path of honour.”
It will be recalled that Jibrin, the former Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, had before the House went on the recess alleged that Dogara and other lawmakers were involved in budget fraud and abuse of office, which became known as budget padding scandal.
Jibrin was later removed as the Appropriation Committee chairman by the Speaker.