… Sacked chairman excluded us from budget work – Committee
Former Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin, on Friday asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to immediately arrest Speaker Yakubu Dogara for allegedly “padding” the 2016 Budget.
Jibrin also called for the arrest of Deputy Speaker Yusuf Lasun, Chief Whip Ado Doguwa, Minority leader Leo Ogor and 10 Committee chairmen by the anti-graft agencies for their involvement in the alleged “padding” on a day nine members of the Appropriation Committee accused Jibrin of not carrying them along in completing work on the budget.
Jibrin, who took to his Twitter account on Friday, claimed that Dogara and the others he asked the anti-graft agencies to arrest for allegedly padding the budget have been running to high places for protection.
He said: “This is 24 hours after my lawyers requested the EFCC and ICPC to grant me a date and time to personally deliver my petition on Mr. Speaker and three others.
“EFCC and ICPC are yet to revert to me. I decided to go personally so that in addition to the petition I can provide some further insight to them.
“EFCC and ICPC must arrest the Speaker, the three others and few others members in my petition immediately.
“They are running to high places, looking for cover.”
Nine members of the Committee led by the Deputy Chairman, Emeka Azubogu, on Friday told journalists in Abuja that Jibrin hijacked the 2016 budget from them and worked on it all alone.
They said the action of the sacked committee chairman prompted them to lodge a formal complaint with the Speaker for his removal.
Azubogu said while there was nothing criminal in the action of the former committee chairman, it was wrong of him to have edged them out.
He said: “He was the Chairman of the Committee, he was carrying out the job the best way he could. If you are in the open, you can’t do the work.
“If people are calling him from everywhere making demands he would not be able to do the work. So he went in where he will.
“When he finishes the report, it is easy to present it to the Committee and then to the leadership. If they go through and approve, it’s binding on the House.
“He didn’t commit a crime. There are times you need to work and you need to be in a secluded place.”
They also took exception to Jibrin’s allegation that 10 committee chairmen inserted 2,000 projects worth N284 billion into the budget.
“He who alleges must prove. He was the Chairman of the committee. It was personal information that he had to himself,” Azubogu said.