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    Budget Padding Scandal: Don’t Let Dogara Humiliate Me, Jibrin Begs Nigerians


    Suspended lawmaker, Abdulmumin Jibrin, on Friday called on Nigerians to intervene in his ordeal and prevent the leadership of the House of Representatives from further humiliating him.

    Mr. Jibrin, who was suspended on Wednesday after accusing the House leadership of budget fraud, said it would be unfortunate if Nigerians failed to act as he was being persecuted for being a whistleblower.

    “Here we are talking about the fight against corruption,” Mr. Jibrin said in a statement. “Today, I’m being humiliated and my crime is simply exposing corruption in high places. Who will want to take such risk in future?”

    Mr. Jibrin’s appeal for solidarity came a day after his office was sealed by the National Assembly security as his 180-day suspension commenced.

    The lawmaker blamed Speaker Yakubu Dogara for the development, saying it was the latest in a series of dubious attempts by the Speaker and his cohort to destroy evidence.

    “The office was purportedly sealed as a consequence of my illegal suspension,” Mr. Jibrin said. “But the truth was that it was done to enable the Speaker lay hands and destroy evidence.”

    Mr. Jibrin said his security detail had seen a drawdown as part of Mr. Dogara’s alleged plans to silence him.

    He called on Nigerians to keep the controversy on the front burner, saying the focus should be on the cases of budget fraud he uncovered.

    House spokesman, Abdulrazak Namdas, said on Thursday that the Constitution accorded sufficient independence to the National Assembly, therefore, its internal decisions cannot be a subject of external investigation.

    Mr. Namdas, however, told PREMIUM TIMES Mr. Jibrin’s allegations could not be probed because he failed to go through the right channel to raise them.

    “If he had credible allegations of corruption, he should have presented everything before the Ethics Committee in form of a petition,” Mr. Namdas said. “He failed to do that and instead went to the EFCC and others.”

    Mr. Dogara’s spokesman, Turaki Hassan, said Mr. Jibrin’s latest claims against his principal will attract fresh sanctions for the embattled lawmaker.

    “The latest allegation will meet its own penalty,” Mr. Hassan told PREMIUM TIMES Friday.
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