To further buttress his claim of budget padding allegation, Mr Abdulmunin Jibrin has released step-by-step, details of how it happened.
The former chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation had alleged that the Speaker in collaboration with his deputy, Yusuf Lasun, Chief Whip Alhassan Doguwa, and Minority Whip Leo Ogor earmarked up to ₦40 billion to themselves in the National Assembly budget.
He made the allegation after he was sacked as chairman of Committee on Appropriation.
While the lawmakers have refuted the accusation attributing it to Jibrin’s expression of anger over his sack, the Speaker Yakubu Dogara has remained quiet, opting to allow the House investigate the allegation.
However, in a latest email Jibrin distributed Sunday evening, he asked Dogara and the principal officers to stop victimising him and allow for a detailed investigation.
He gave more details to substantiate his claims.
Part of the email reads, “Let me make further revelations in addition to the ones I have already made which are in public glare.
“One, during the budget period, when they discovered that I was not the kind of a person they could use to perpetrate their illegality, Mr. Speaker and the three other principal officers took away the entire Appropriation Committee Secretariat to a secret location where all sort of insertions were made into the budget.
“Again the secretariat was taken away from me on Speaker Dogara’s instruction for the second time to a location I don’t know and all sort of insertions into the budgets were made and returned to me for signature. I said over my dead body! It was a massive crisis behind the scene until the early morning of the Friday that Mr President assented the budget.
“Two, when the budget harmonisation committee headed by Deputy Speaker Yusuf Lasun gave out 80 per cent concession across board to the executive demands during the harmonisation negotiation, it was agreed that the remaining 20 per cent should go to the entire NASS. The Deputy Speaker excused himself that he wanted to go and consult with Mr Speaker.
“He came back after few hours and in an unprecedented display of greed presented to me a hand written note distributing the remaining 20 per cent to only principal officers. 70 per cent of the 20 per cent was reserved for Mr Speaker and himself while the remaining 30 per cent of the 20 per cent goes to other principal officers. I am sure he will recognise the hand writing when he sees it. My colleagues didn’t know all of these.
“Three, Mr. Speaker also directed me to create what I advised him will be a controversial line item under service wide vote to introduce about N20 billion project using the name of NASS. He directed me to see a highly placed PDP politician which I did and collected the documents. I advised him repeatedly against it but he kept pressuring me until I bluntly told him I will not!
“Four, when the Appropriation Committee received all the budget reports from standing committees, an analysis was conducted. We discovered that about 10 only out of the 96 Standing Committees of the House introduced about 2,000 projects without the knowledge of their committee members amounting to about N284 billion.
“I was alarmed. But I was cautious because at our pre-budget meeting with the committee chairmen, I was clearly warned not to touch their budgets. I reported the matter to the Speaker. He did nothing about it obviously because he was working behind the scene with the committee chairmen. That was the beginning of the whole budget problem from the side of House and the whole exercise had to go through several versions before it was passed”, he claimed.
By Ebere Ndukwu …
RipplesNigeria …without borders, without fears
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