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Government & Politics

Budget Padding: Hon Jibrin plans more revelations

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The embattled former Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, Mr Abdulmumin Jibrin, says he is not done with exposing what he calls ‘systemic corruption’ in the House of Representative.

Mr Jibrin said he would be speaking more on how members committed fraud during investigations in the days ahead.

He made the remarks on Monday at a media conference with journalists and bloggers in Abuja.

It was held to explain some issues regarding his allegations of corruption against principal officers of the House of Representatives.

‘Systemic Blackmail’

He told reporters that in his four years in the National Assembly, he had never seen where a standing Committee of the House on Education inserted 181 projects into the budget.

“On the aspect of individual corruption and issues of corruption, I have given a lot of instances with allegations against the Speaker and some other members of the House of Representatives.

“On the issue of systemic corruption in the next few days, I will be talking in a more indepth manner how investigative hearing and oversight are used to perpetuate corruption in the House.

“Also, you can imagine, isn’t it ridiculous that 360 members, nobody has the internal budget of the house copies. There is nothing that we did not do with Dogara to release the internal budget of the House.

“These are facts. He should come out in light and just say Jibrin is lying.

“I have been saying this thing for eight weeks, he hasn’t come out to talk,” he told reporters.

Mr Jibrin also alleged that lawmakers had kept quiet over the issue because there was ‘systemic blackmail’.

“They have swallowed allowances. So you cannot talk, even though they are unhappy about the situation. The leadership always use that as a blackmail,” he claimed.

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According to him, apart from the allegations already contained in his petition to anti-graft agencies, he would be speaking to the public in the days ahead about how some individuals in investigative committees commit corruption with their office.

The lawmaker also explained the reasons for not appearing before the Ethics Committee that recommended his suspension as well as those he indicted in his petitions to the anti-graft agencies.

Mr Jibrin was suspended on September 28 by the House after he failed to appear before the Ethics Committee.

He had demanded that the hearing should be put on live TV, saying that it was the condition that must be met before he would appear.

After his suspension for 180 sitting days and subsequent lockdown of his office, the lawmaker filed a suit against the Speaker of the House, Mr Yakubu Dogara, claiming that the forwarding of the issue to the Ethics Committee contravened the law, as there was a subsisting suit on the issue.

Reacting to his suspension, Mr Jibrin said that the decision was completely inconsequential‘.

“Whatever product comes out of that process, as far as I am concerned, is completely inconsequential and cannot stand anywhere.

“The matter is in court and it is a matter of litigation,” he told Channels Television.

He had accused Mr Dogara and some other lawmakers of padding the 2016 budget.

Mr Dogara had denied the allegation, but at one point told reporters that padding was not an offence.

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