THE embattled former chairman of House of
Representatives Committee on Appropriations, Abdulmumin Jibrin, yesterday, gave
a startling revelation on how 10 standing committees allegedly infused constituency
projects worth N284 billion into the 2016 budget without the knowledge of their
members. He also alleged that the speaker, Yakubu Dogara, secretly persuaded him
to smuggle N20 billion into the budget through Service Wide Vote. Jibrin, who
stated this in a statement in Abuja, alleged that some cabals had hijacked the
speaker to always do their bidding. Abdulmumini Jibrin He, however, exonerated
the Majority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, and three other principal officers from
the alleged scandal now rocking the padding of the 2016 budget by the House
leadership, adding that the budget inputs inserted on their names were
exclusively carried out by the speaker, his deputy, Yussuff Lasun; Chief Whip,
Ado Doguwa and the Minority Leader, Leo Ogor. Jibrin said:  “I am compelled again for the purpose of
emphasis to state categorically that my allegations are against the quartet of
speaker, Yakubu Dogara; deputy speaker, Yusuf Lasun; House Whip, Alhassan
Doguwa, and Minority Leader, Leo Ogor, not the Honourable House as an
institution nor other members of the body of principal officers. “I have to
state this very clearly because this quartet has resorted to desperate moves to
drag the entire House of Representatives into the case of gross abuse of office
I have leveled against them as individual presiding and principal officers of
the House. This is a mischievous move to set me on collision with the entire
house. “They have also recruited four from the very few members of their cabal
to use some elements of the Nigeria police to kidnap, harass, blackmail and
intimidate me into silence. Until yesterday, the police were laying siege to my
house, blocking the entrance and exit, shouting that they wanted budget
documents. “They embarrassed my entire family with a nursing mother and a
seven-month-old baby that cried all night. The game plan was to arrest me and
dump me in police net while heavy media propaganda will be carried out to
mislead the world that I have been sacked and police have picked me up as a
culprit in 2016 budget. “Whenever I am released, an irreparable damage would
have been done to my person that will stick for life. “As God Almighty will
have it, I had traveled out of town before they could execute their evil plan.
God is always with the innocent. The members in the tick of this plot are
Jagaba Adams, Jika both chairmen interior and police affairs respectively,
Muhammed Bago, Muhammed Zakari and the last one I need not introduce him to
Nigerians. “During the budget period, when they discovered that I was not the
kind of person they could use to perpetrate their illegality, Mr Speaker and
the three other principal officers took away the entire Appropriation Committee
secretariat to a secret location where all sort of insertions were made into
the budget. “The blackmail has always been, Abdul people will laugh at you if
anything goes wrong between you and Dogara because of the lead role you played
and the many toes you stepped on to get him elected. It’s been a painful
experience. “Again the secretariat was taken away from me on Speaker Dogara’s
instruction for the second time to a location I didn’t know and all sort of
insertions into the budget were made and returned to me for signature. “I said
over my dead body! It was a massive crisis behind the scene until the early
morning of the Friday  that Mr President
assented the budget. It was Sen Danjuma Goje that brokered a compromise that
since the deputy speaker led the harmonization committee; he should also sign
such that the harmonization committee will share responsibility with us.
“Senator Goje pleaded with me so hard all night and later shouted heavily at me
reminding me that he was not talking to me as a senator but as a father. I
cried heavily all night. “When the budget harmonization committee, headed by
Deputy Speaker Yusuf Lasun, gave out 80% concession across board to the
executive demands during the harmonization negotiation, it was agreed that the
remaining 20% should go to the entire NASS. The deputy speaker excused himself
that he wanted to go and consult with Mr speaker. “He came back after  few hours and in an unprecedented display of
greed, presented to me a hand written note distributing the remaining 20% to
only principal officers. 70% of the 20% was reserved for Mr Speaker and
himself, while the remaining 30% of the 20% went to other principal officers. I
am sure he will recognize the hand writing when he sees it.” My colleagues
didn’t know all of these. “Mr Speaker also directed me to create what I advised
him will be a controversial line item under service wide vote to introduce
about N20 billion projects using the name of NASS. He directed me to see a
highly placed PDP politician which I did and collected the documents. I advised
him repeatedly against it but he kept pressuring me until I bluntly told him I
will not! “When the Appropriation committee received all the budget reports
from standing committees, an analysis was conducted. We discovered that about
10 of the 96 standing committees of the House introduced about 2,000 (two
thousand) projects without the knowledge of their committee members, amounting
to about  N284 billion.’’ “I was alarmed.
But I was cautious because at our pre budget meeting with the committee
chairmen, I was clearly warned not to touch their budgets. I reported the
matter to the speaker. He did nothing about it obviously because he was working
behind the scene with the committee chairmen. That was the beginning of the
whole budget problem from the side of House and the whole exercise had to go
through several versions before it was passed. “So, is it Abdul that introduced
2000 projects into budget worth 284 billion? But I quietly bore the pain and
abuses from all over the country and continue to defend the committee inputs as
a show of loyalty to the institution I represent which I so much love and still
have many great minds in there. Apart from Chairman Agriculture Hon Mongunu who
owned up and explained his inputs at the only executive session I was allowed
to attend, the other few chairmen who loaded the budget kept quiet and watched
me bashed from every angle by angry Nigerians.’’ Continuing, Jibrin said:  “Speaker Dogara has completely derailed,
remains clueless, keeps on with an unmatched ego and surely leading the House
to the biggest scandal it may ever experience. ‘’He has failed to live above
the fog in public duty and private thinking, a direct opposite of what my
favorite American Poet, Josiah Gilbet Holland, prayed Lord to grant us leaders.
“All I am asking for is my right to be heard by my colleagues which they denied
me. I am calling on my colleagues to plead with Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Deputy
Lasun, Whip Doguwa and Minority leader Ogor to stop obstructing justice and
allow me my right to be heard by the House. ‘’It is the House that will
institute a special investigation on this matter to allow me testify and
provide evidence before any other external action,” Jibrin said in the
statement. 

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