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Sunday, 24 July 2016

2016 Budget: How Saraki, Dogara Blocked Jibrin’s N250bn Padding



By Muazu Elazeh, BY MUYIWA OYINLOLA, By OLUGBENGA SOYELE
…There are plans to arrest me, sacked committee chair alleges
More facts are emerging as to why Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara sacked a member of the House, Abdulmumin Jibrin as chairman of the House Appropriation Committee.
LEADERSHIP WEEKEND gathered yesterday that Jibrin had singled-handedly jerked up the budget by N250 billion over and above executive proposal submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari.
A source who is a ranking member of the House disclosed that when the final copy of the budget document was tabled by Jibrin for passage on a Thursday by the two chambers, it was discovered that the lawmaker had actually upped the budget by N250 billion.
“The senate president and the speaker, directed Jibrin to not only revert to original figure proposed by the president but also lower it by about N30 billion because of expected drop in revenue.That was why the budget was not passed until the following Tuesday”, the source who preferred not to be named in print  said.
Apart from allocating N4.1 billion to his constituency, Jibrin was also alleged to have tinkered with reports of all standing Committees on the budget by cutting 10 per cent of all capital votes of all ministries, departments and agencies across board.
It was also claimed that he touched even personnel budgets of some MDAs, meaning that they won’t pay workers salaries.
“These were the mess he (Jibrin) made of the budget, that was why the president said he would not sign it and the senate president and the speaker agreed with the president on this and they constituted a special committee under the chairmanship of the Deputy Speaker Sulaimon Lasun to clean up the mess he did”, the source added.
Jibrin Trying Desperately To Curry Public Sympathy- Kurfi
Meanwhile, the vice chairman, House of Representatives committee on downstream sector, Danlami Muhammad Kurfi has lashed out at the former chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin for calling on Speaker Dogara to resign.
Jibrin who was removed as chairman of the appropriation committee by Speaker Dogara, had in a statement, said the trio of Speaker, deputy speaker and the minority leader of the House, should resign.
But Kurfi who represents Dutsinma/Kurfi federal constituency of Katsina state said the former appropriation committee chairman should not be taken serious because his utterances were mere ranting of someone who is paying for his actions.
“Why did it take him this long to tell Mr President that the Speaker dines with his enemies?” Kurfi queried and insisted that the appropriation committee should thank his stars that his sack came when members were on recess.
“If this had happened while we were in session, some of us would have moved for his suspension” he noted.
There are plans to arrest me, sacked committee chair alleges
Meanwhile, the former Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Honourable Abdulmumin Jibrin yesterday accused the Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara of planning to use police to arrest and detain him in order to pervert justice on allegations of padding of the 2016 budget.
The lawmaker who made the allegation in a press statement issued on his behalf by his lawyers, Messrs Hammart & CO, Law Bond Solicitors and Doka Chambers, warned the police  and other security agencies not to allow themselves to be used to execute the personal objectives.
In the press statement, the lawyers alleged that they now have it on good authority that some persons were acting in concert at the moment, using some elements within the police to monitor, harass, intimidate and hound their client into an unwarranted detention with the purpose of inhibiting his right to move freely and to express himself as contained in Chapter 4 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
According to them, the purpose of their antics is to upturn the narrative and paint their client as the black sheep in the flock, and cleverly presenting themselves as transparent angels.
They statement made available to LEADERSHIP Weekend noted: “Accordingly, we have made appropriate representations to the Inspector General of Police and other relevant security agencies in the Country drawing their attention to this unwarranted and ill intentioned steps taken by these quartet and not to allow themselves (security agencies) to be used to execute the personal objectives of these quartet; more so appropriate legal action has been taken by our client, as a law abiding citizen, to protect his fundamental rights as guaranteed by our laws.
“The above quartet have resorted to blackmail our Client into silence and to further harass his person and family using the instrument of the obstructive coercion and perversion of due process by deploying, albeit illegally some elements of the Nigeria Police.
“Finally, we hasten to advise Speaker Dogara and the 3 other principal officers mentioned here not to descend to the narrow aim of dragging the institution of the House of Representatives into their personal fight and to note that by virtue of  the institution he leads and as a lawyer, he should act within the confines of the Rule of Law and allow the House of Representatives to institute a special investigation into this matter where our Client will have the opportunity earlier denied him by the quartet to testify and provide evidence against them BECAUSE he who comes to equity must come with clean hands”.

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