Former Speaker, House of Representatives, Mr Ghali Na’Abba, has said that padding was impossible without the involvement of the executive arm.
He therefore called for proper investigation of the role played by officials in the executive arm in the current budget padding controversy.
“This stealing of funds cannot be possible without active connivance with some members of the executive arm.
“I expect that for 16 years of return to democracy, Nigerians would have understood the responsibilities of the National Assembly.
“As far as I am concerned, the National Assembly has the responsibility to pass the budget, approve it and allow the executive arm to execute it.”
The former Speaker said this while answering questions at a workshop organised by Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company (KRPC) in Kano.
On the call for Speaker Yakubu Dogara to resign, Na’Abba said that he has done nothing for which he should step down.
According to a NAN report, he said that until full investigation into the alleged ‘budget padding’ is concluded to ascertain the level of involvement of members of the House of Representatives mentioned in the allegation, there was no point calling for the Speaker to resign.
“According to my understanding, where the issue being referred to as padding comes into play, is a situation where some members go behind and add items of expenditure to what has already been agreed upon. For either stealing the funds or doing whatever they feel like doing with it.
“So far, accusations are being traded amongst members of the house, but no investigation has been conducted. On the call for the resignation of the Speaker, the question is, what has the Speaker done to warrant his resignation?” Na’Abba asked.
Na’Abba, however said that padding is an offence if for any reason some members of the National Assembly decide to add items of expenditure through the back door after the bill has been passed by the two legislative arms.
By Ebere Ndukwu …
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