Budget padding: Jibrin petitions EFCC

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Former Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations Abdulmumin Jibrin was yesterday at the Economic and Financial Crimes to submit a petition against Speaker Yakubu Dogara.

Jibrin said the visit was also to provide insight into his petition against the leadership of the House on the alleged N284billion budget padding.

Also yesterday, House Leader Femi Gbajabiamila spoke for the first time on the issue, pleading that Dogara should not be judged by Jibrin’s allegations.

On his Twitter handle, Jibrin said he had added the name of Abonta Abonta to his petition.

Abonta had some hours earlier taken up issues with Jibrin on a political programme on Channels TV.

Jibrin said: “What a day! Submitted petition against Speaker Dogara and 12 others. Now, it is over to the security and anti-corruption agencies. “I added one new name to my petition, Hon. Abonta Abonta. The member who spoke after me on Channels and denied corruption exists in the House.

“Let me use Hon. Abonta as a case. I have asked the anti-graft agencies to investigate his office running cost. Wait for the shocking outcome

Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren said: “Jibrin was here but I do not have the details yet.”

The Chairman of the House Committee on Basic Education, Mohammed Zakari has faulted Jibrin’s claim that he was one of those involved in budget padding.

He said since November 2015, he had not had any dealing with Jibrin.

Zakari, in a statement in Abuja, said: “I was shocked on Saturday to read how the immediate past Chairman of the House of Representatives, Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin, was casting aspersions on me as part of his rantings over his removal by the House leadership. It was obvious his tweets were designed to drag every credible members of the House along because he does not want to bear his travails on the mismanagement of the consideration of 2016 Budget alone.

“His mud-racking at me was the second in a week.”

Ordinarily, I would have ignored his face-saving tweets but the fact that he is deceptively carrying many Nigerians along makes it imperative to protect my hard-earned integrity and about 10 years of unblemished career as a political office holders.

“Prior to joining politics, I worked as a civil servant for 14 years with outstanding records. I cannot allow a desperado, who is also a gold digger, to rubbish my impeccable integrity.

“I have not spoken or had personal contact with Jibrin since November 2015 because I have always had reservations on his conduct and overrated expertise in budgeting. He held every member in contempt and arrogated usurped powers to himself. He was so overwhelmed by his ambition to drag me into his plot to the extent that he referred to me as the chairman of the House Committee on Higher Education. He exposed his agenda of a revenge mission against me.

“I wish to place on record that throughout the period of consideration of the 2016 Appropriation Act, I did not meet or write Jibrin for assistance to include any item or projects.

“ I concentrated on my job as the Chairman of the House Committee on Basic Education. The proposals for Basic Education were easier in treating because the enabling Act of UBEC is explicit on how it should be funded.

“For the avoidance of doubt, I want to state that my submission on the 2016 budget was a product of my committee’s relentless work, in conjunction with the Senate Committee on Basic Education. I challenge Jibrin to point out the specific areas that my committee fell short of its duties.

“In addition, this is my 5th year in the National Assembly I have never heard of a budget being padded. What a sitting President brings to the National Assembly, according to Section 80(1) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution is an estimate which the Legislature is expected to consider and assist the Executive in reviewing appropriations for its plans and projects for the country.

“Jibrin should look elsewhere for his prey. “As for Jibrin’s formal report to the EFCC, I am more than ready to appear before any agency or anywhere to prove my innocence. I have no skeletons in my cupboard.”

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