FORMER Appropriation committee chairman in the House of Representatives, Hon Abdulmumin Jibrin has described the purchase of N4bn exotic cars for members as a wasteful venture and fraudulent act. In a statement he released over the weekend titled: “The Wasteful Purchase of N4bn worth of Exotic Cars by Speaker Dogara in the name of Oversight Function,” Jibrin said it was not true that the cars were needed for oversight, adding that 80% of oversight activities by lawmakers were carried out in Abuja. He wondered why the leadership of the House could spend huge amount of money to purchase expensive cars when most of the time, it was the ministry, department or agency of government in question that takes care of members transportation. The suspended lawmaker explained that in some cases, members use flights if the oversight function was outside Abuja, stressing that the MDA’s arrange for vehicles as well as provide accommodation and other logistics. Jibrin argued that even if the cars were needed by lawmakers, it was fraudulent to spend a whooping N4bn when each member pockets N10 million monthly as allowance. He further alleged that the speaker use the oversight function as and avenue to solicit for illegal favors and bribes from MDAs. The former appropriation chairman therefore said since the cars were wasteful venture, he had rejected his and called on other members to do likewise. “I followed with keen interest the condemnation by Nigerians of the purchase of cars for members of House of Representatives by Speaker Dogara at such a difficult period of economic recession and the reckless and insensitive justification of such a monumental waste by the speaker. “In line with my commitment to continue to expose individual and systemic corruption in the House and Nigeria as a whole, I wish to state the following facts. “That it is an outright lie that the cars are needed for oversight as over 80% of oversight activities of the House of Representatives are carried out in Abuja and in almost all instances it is the MDA’s that arrange buses to convey members from the premises of the House to the respective MDA. “Those areas that are far away from Abuja, members always use flights to the nearest location while the MDA’s arrange vehicles and other logistics to complete the visit. In almost all instances the MDA’s provide accommodation and pay for the tickets and other logistics. “That even if we assume that the cars are needed, it is unfair and fraudulent to further put additional N4 billion into such wasteful venture while at the same time members pocket about N10 million monthly. An amount many members use to sponsor their lavish life style and buy as many exotic cars for their private use. “That despite the monthly allowances and the purchases of these new cars, a special car allowance is yet again been arranged for members. The last I know before my illegal suspension was that the issue of another separate car allowance remain an outstanding entitlement of members with the speaker giving continuous assurances to members that it will be paid. “That Nigerians should be vigilant as Speaker Dogara tried to be smart by awarding the supply of the cars to Peugeot Automobile so he can hide under the guise that the House is supporting local manufacturers to deflect criticism. “However such idea is useless because it only amounts to stealing from Peter to pay Paul. It adds no value to the economy since in the first place the money ought not to be used for that purpose in other word misappropriation. “That I have stated repeatedly and wish to reemphasis that these so called oversight are been used as avenues under speaker Dogara to solicit for illegal favors and bribes from MDAs. It is a normal thing to see members fighting over alleged bribe money after an oversight visit. “That the hurried purchase of the cars is part of the carrot and stick approach deployed by Speaker Dogara to silent members and ensure that the allegations of massive budget fraud and corruption against him never sees the light of the day. “That this colossal amount of money would have done so much if deployed to our hospitals, schools, IDP camps,
water supply, food production, payment to local contractors and support program for women, youth and students etc “That it is a complete waste of government resources to embark on such a selfish purchase of cars. I have therefore decided to reject any car allocated to me and equally called on all members to reject the cars as a first step towards redeeming our battered image before Nigerians and in show of concern to the current economic reality of the country. The money can be used in so many useful ways to the country. “I have communicated this decision to my constituents who remain very happy with my decision to reject the car and my anti corruption crusade in the House of Representatives and Nigeria as a whole which I have now taken to the international community,” Dogara stated

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