Nigerians are now at a loss over who is telling the truth between Speaker of the House of Representatives Honourable Yakubu and the ousted chairman of the federal House of Representatives committee on appropriation, Honourable Abdulmumin Jibrin.
Jibrin penultimate week accused the speaker of the house, Rt.Yakubu Dogara, his deputy, Lasun Yusuf and some principal officers of attempts to allocate to themselves N40billion out of the N100billion allocated to the entire National Assembly.
This was contained in a statement he released late Thursday evening.
”Speaker Dogara’s statement was a complete misrepresentation of the facts, false, mischievous, unfair and a calculated attempt to bring my name to disrepute, blackmail, silence and use me as a scapegoat,” he said.
“My offence was asserting my independence and insisting that we do the right thing at all times and expose corrupt people in the house.
“Lately, I openly disagreed with some principal officers on the issue of immunity for lawmakers and budget issues. I still maintain I will never support immunity.
‎”I strongly believe with every conviction that in cleaning up the budgeting system and considering what transpired during 2016 budget, which I have all the facts documented, Speaker Dogara, Deputy Speaker Lasun, Whip Doguwa and minority Leader Leo Ogor should resign.
“These members of the body of principal officers were not comfortable with my independent disposition and my refusal to cover up their unilateral decision to allocate to themselves N40 billion out of the N100 billion allocated to the entire NASS.
‎”The four of them met and took that decision. In addition to billions of wasteful projects running over 20 billion they allocated to their constituencies. They must come out clean.
‎”My inability to admit into the budget almost N30 billion personal requests from Mr Speaker and the 3 other principal officers also became an issue. I have documented evidence to this effect.
“After the submission of the first version of the budget which was returned by Mr President, I briefed members in executive session and told them as agreed at our pre-budget meeting with chairmen and deputy chairmen of standing committees we simply adopted their reports with little amendments. Nobody faulted my submission.
‎”Members insisted they must know how the N100 billion was allocated. I told them the truth.
“Since after that meeting, Mr Speaker, with the support of the three other principal officers, effectively blocked me from briefing members, ensured I was not at the last executive session and refused to investigate issues I raised that I believe must be addressed if we intend to build a better budget system for the house.
“I gave Mr Speaker statistics of 2000 new projects introduced into the budget by less than 10 committee chairmen without the knowledge of their committee members; he did nothing about it because he was part of the mess yet he is talking about improving the budget system.
“I did nothing wrong. I worked within the rules of the House and instructions of Mr Speaker. During the budget period, Mr President graciously granted me and Sen Goje audience. It was a very good meeting.
“Speaker Dogara took it extremely personal that we saw the president without his knowledge and went on to scuttle all our efforts to help the president during the budget process because he wanted to be seen by the president as the only good man.
“He forgot that he sees heads of Ministries Departments and Agencies’s daily which he enjoys doing more than his job as Speaker for reasons best known to him anyway without Mr President’s knowledge.
“That is how petty and narrow-minded Dogara can be. A coward, hypocrite and pretender of the highest order. Mr President must be very careful with him. He wines with Mr. President and dines with Mr. President’s enemies.‎”
The leadership of the House, however, in a statement by Abdulrazaq Namdas, the Reps’ spokesperson, did not categorically deny Mr. Jibrin’s shocking allegations.
Dismissing the allegations as “the non issue and mere afterthought manufactured” after his removal from the top position, the statement said there were “conventions and precedents” regarding Nigeria’s budget and the principal officers of the legislature.
The statement reads in part: “Most of the allegations on the 2016 budget process and his opposition to immunity of Presiding officers are non issues and mere afterthought manufactured simply because the House relieved him of his position.
“If he had all these ‘facts’ before, why didn’t he make them public? Why is he doing that now?
“Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin, like any other member of the House, knows that there are conventions and precedents as it relates to budgets and projects for principal officers of the National Assembly . Why is he making it an issue now? In any case, he is entitled to his opinion as a Nigerian and as a legislator while acting within the laws of Nigeria and rules of the House.”

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