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The Special Investigation Panel
probing the budget padding allegations will send fresh invitations to the
Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, and other principal officers
named in the scandal.

It was learnt that the panel,
headed by a retired Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Ali Amodu, would
send the invitations when the National Assembly resume this week.

Police sources stated that the SIP
had covered a lot of ground in its quest to unearth the culprits behind the
alleged padding of N280bn in the 2016 budget.

The former Chairman, House of
Representatives Appropriation Committee, Abdulmumin Jibrin, had in a petition
asked the police to investigate the alleged padding of the budget by Dogara and
other principal officers.

Those indicted by Jibrin included
the Deputy Speaker, Mr. Lasun Yussuff; the Chief Whip, Mr. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa;
and the Minority Leader, Mr. Leo Ogor.

Jibrin appeared before the police
panel investigating his petition with documents to back up his allegations, but
the speaker and others mentioned did not honour the police invitation.

The ex- appropriation committee
boss had also submitted a petition against the accused to the Economic and
Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other
related offences Commission, urging the agencies to probe the principal
officers.

A source however informed our Urban
Express on Friday that the police would issue fresh invitations to the house
officers, stressing that the men must come and defend themselves.

He said, “The fact is that the
house officers, including the speaker, have no immunity against investigation
or prosecution; anybody could be investigated including governors and the
President.

“The immunity of the governors and
the President does not preclude investigation. It only protects them while in
office, but once they are out of office, they could be prosecuted.

“The panel has covered a lot of
ground with the documents at its disposal, and it will invite the men
(lawmakers) when they are ready to interrogate them and anyone who fails to
show up has tacitly admitted that he is guilty of the allegations against him.”

Urban Express further  learnt that the panel would not let up on the
National Assembly Clerk, Mohammed Sani-Omolori, till he submitted the draft and
final copies of the 2016 budget to detectives.

Meanwhile, there were strong
indications on Saturday that supporters of Dogara, and those who are opposed to
him will clash when the House resumes on Tuesday.

Urban Express gathered that
members, who were opposed to the Speaker, would raise the allegations of budget
padding on the floor of the House.

It was learnt that anti-speaker
forces, including Jibrin and the Transparency Group would insist that Dogara
and his deputy, Yusuf Lanus, should step down.

Jibrin had, last month, sent a
petition to the police, the Department of State Services, the Economic and
Financial Crimes Commission as well as the Independent Corrupt Practices and
other related offences Commission.

In the letter, he alleged that the
principal officers padded the budget by N280bn, an allegation that the
principal officers had denied.

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