Dogara has been the centre of controversy since he was accused of padding the 2016 budget.
House of Representatives Speaker, Yakubu Dogara has been the centre of controversy since July when he was accused of supervising the padding of the 2016 budget.
The allegations were made by former Appropriations Committee Chairman, Abdulmumin Jibrin who is calling for Dogara’s resignation.
Dogara however said, on Friday, August 5, that he would not resign because budget padding is not an offence.
“I studied Law and I have been in the legislature and all this period I have never heard of the word 'padding' being an offence under any law. If I don’t know, you are the media, research the law and let me know,” the speaker said.
"I have not committed any offence and so, the question of me resigning does not even arise,” he added.
In response, legal practitioner, Kayode Oyemakinde says that Dogara is both right and wrong on the issue.
“With all due respect, I’m disappointed in the Speaker… He’s a lawyer, a legal practitioner, someone we expect to know the law even more than some lawyers because most laws are within his jurisdiction. They come through his office, so for someone like him to say that it’s not an offence, I’m disappointed,” Oyemakinde said during an episode of Frankly Speaking With Jola Sotubo.
“Basically, he’s right, and he’s wrong. There’s no law in Nigeria that says that “padding” is an offence and the law also says that no one can be charged for a law that doesn’t exist so he cannot be charged based on that, but he can also be charged.
“If he is saying it’s not an offence, I’m surprised, because you can count it like forgery, breach of trust, gross incompetence… He can be punished under some certain laws in Nigeria and forgery is one,” he added.
Oyemakinde also explained how budget padding is carried out and what the legislators involved stand to gain from the act.