The former Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation has alleged that 14 of his colleagues, including Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, padded the 2016 budget with N284 billion.
Abdulmumin Jibrin is a snitch, and is probably just as guilty as those he’s accusing of fraud.
“When the Appropriation committee received all the budget reports from standing committees, an analysis was conducted. We discovered that about 10 of the 96 standing committees of the House introduced about 2,000 (two thousand) projects without the knowledge of their committee members, amounting to about N284 billion,” Jibrin said via a statement released on Sunday, July 24.
“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,” he added.
He has also reported Dogara and the others involved to the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and is calling for them to be jailed.
“I am here to submit a formal petition and give further clarification and insight on the allegation of corruption, abuse of trust and office by Mr Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, his deputy, Yusuf Lasun, the whip of the House, Alhassan Dogwa, the minority leader of the House, Leo Ogor and nine other members of the House who are also chairmen of different other committees,” Jibrin said on Monday, August 1, after a visit to the office of the ICPC in Abuja.
“We have submitted the petition, the chairman of the commission received us in person. We exchanged a couple of ideas on how to move forward. I hope to see a very quick commencement of investigations so that these corrupt set of Nigerians can be prosecuted in earnest and if found guilty, sent to jail immediately so that it will send a very powerful signal of the anti-corruption fight of this government,” he added.
In light of the ongoing war against corruption, Jibrin’s revelations should be welcomed, lauded even, but his delay in speaking has instead rendered them suspicious, especially due to the circumstances surrounding his new-found activism.
The former appropriation committee chair insists that there is institutionalized corruption in the House, which he joined in 2011, but he conveniently waited until after he was sacked to make the allegations.
“Well, I wasn't part of the insertions but I think I also didn't help myself because I started speaking quite late. The event that pushed me to start talking doesn't look too attractive to people because they are saying why am I talking now that I have left the position,” he himself admitted during an interview on Channels TV which aired on Sunday, July 31.
Jibrin’s move is also suspicious because he was one of the loudest voices of opposition against President Muhammadu Buhari’s allegations that the budget had been padded.
In fact, Jibrin urged Buhari to sign the budget without knowing the full details and practically threatened the president by reminding him that the legislature could overrule his right to withhold assent.
“There is nothing abnormal…about a president assenting a budget before or after seeing the details. In any case, the budget details are usually sent within a week or two after passing the budget,” he said via a statement released on Wednesday, March 30.
“The NASS will continue to exercise its constitutional duty of appropriation to the latter. While recognising the President’s power to withhold assent, the NASS is also constitutionally required and has power to veto. But we don’t want that to happen and we don’t see this happening in this case,” he added.
It is therefore nothing short of incredible that the same person expects us to believe that he is now averse to corruption despite spending five years in the National Assembly, which, according to him, stinks.
How did Jibrin come about all the information he has released? If his position as an anti-corruption campaigner was known to his colleagues, then why didn’t they hide their alleged illicit dealings from him? Why did Jibrin keep quiet for so long and then suddenly decide to start speaking out after Dogara hurt his feelings by sacking him?
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Abdulmumin Jibrin must also be investigated in connection with the budget padding scandal, because, even if he could not stop the deed when it was being done, his long silence has made him an accessory after the fact.
If Jibrin wants Dogara found guilty and sent to jail, then he should definitely expect to have a cell right there beside him.