Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has concluded plans to invite the Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara, his deputy and other principal officers to appear before it for some interactions over their alleged role in the N40bn budget padding.
The sacked former Chairman House committee on Appropriation, Hon. Abdulmunin Jubril alleged that the leadership of the House attempted to pad this year’s budget to the tune of N40 billion and that he was victimized for opposing immunity for principal officers.”
Abdulmunin Jibrin, said that Speaker Yakubu Dogara and three other principal officers of the House are victimizing him for refusing to support immunity for presiding officers as well as the approval of N40 billion for principal officers out of N100 billion approved for members of the House for constituency project.
A highly placed EFCC source during the weekend told Nigerian pilot that, “Given the seriousness and gravity of the allegations against the leadership of the House, any investigation by the House would not be enough, as this would not meet the threshold of an effective, transparent and independent investigation that is why the commission is stepping in.
According to the source, the commission will discreetly invite the whistle blower to appear before the operatives of the EFCC and furnished them with documentary evidence and all the necessary documents before the house leadership will be quizzed.
He said that Nigerians won’t have confidence in the House investigating itself in this Case excerpt the commission steps in.
The House of Representatives last week replaced its Appropriation Committee Chairman, Abdulmumin Jibrin, over the controversial “padding” of the 2016 budget.
Jibrin (APC Kano) was replaced with Mustapha Dawaki, also APC Kano, the former House committee chairman on Housing.
But Jubrin denied being sacked. According to him, he resigned the position after “extensive consultation” with his family.
During the controversy over the passage of this year’s budget, Jibrin was accused of allocating 20 projects worth N4.3 billion to his constituency without the consent of his committee members.
Projects worth N40 billion were also said to have been surreptitiously allocated to the leadership of the Appropriations Committees of the Senate and the House of Representatives and also without the knowledge of other members.
The padded budget, which was returned by the Executive was reworked before President Muhammadu Buhari eventually before assented to it after a meeting of Presidency officials with principal officers of the Senate and the House.
A 15-member harmonisation Committee was raised to sort out the grey areas.
When the furore on the padding died down, some members called for Jibrin’s removal.
Jubrin, at a news conference attended by some members of the committee, said he did no wrong as far as the committee’s work was concerned describing his “resignation” as a personal decision.
Jibrin said his hands were clean and promised to give details “of what transpired in the 2016 Appropriations” later.
Jibrin said his revelations will not be “to attack anybody but so that we can also learn collectively and see how we can move the system forward.”
“But whether I like it or not, I was the Chairman of Appropriations and my signature was on all the documents even though I know that I am not at fault.
“Of course we are all aware of a lot of issues that took place during the process of the 2016 budget. I have always maintained one position, that as the Chairman, Appropriations, I did my very best. Until date, I have said that if anybody has anything that I have done that amounts to an abuse of my office, or amounts to an illegality, that it should be brought forward.”
The lawmaker went on: “I’ve said it several times that I can be reported to the authorities or the relevant arm of government or the internal disciplinary measure of the House should take its course. And as it is until date, nobody has raised any issue against me.
“ And that has been the case even while I was Chairman Finance. For four years, I was chairman Finance and I executed my responsibility diligently and left an unblemished record.”
He said there were a lot of “obstacles here and there “during the 2016 budget appropriation.
“Even if I’m not at fault, it is only proper that I take the responsibility. I believe that the best thing I should do under the circumstance is to step aside so that the committee can move forward,” Jibrin said.
During plenary, Speaker Yakubu’s Dogara announced a replacement Mustapha Bala Dawaki (Kudu/Warawa Federal Constituency, Kano) as Jubrin’s replacement.
Dogara said: “He ( Jibrin) met me and said he does not think he would continue as the committee chairman due to pressure of the work.”
The Speaker said the House leadership had taken a decision to replace him as the committee chairman.
Jibrin (Bebeji/Kiru Federal Constituency, Kano) was the chairman of the committee on Finance in the Seventh House. He was made Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations after Dogara’s emergence as Speaker of the Eighth Assembly.

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