Sunday, 31 July 2016

Budget Padding Scandal: Pressure mounts on Speaker Dogara to step down after Reps Jibrin releases more documents, implicates more lawmakers

Budget Padding Scandal: Reps Jibrin releases more documents, implicates more lawmakers

A former chairman of House Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin, has released more documents about the unfolding budget padding scandal in the House.

Mr. Jibrin said the documents confirmed his claims that some lawmakers manipulated line items in the 2016 Appropriation Bill.

Mr. Jibrin became a whistleblower following his controversial removal as chair of the crucial committee.

In one of the documents, Chris Azubago, Appropriation Committee’s deputy chairman, allegedly canvassed up to N109 million worth of ‘constituency’ projects for his Nnewi North Federal Constituency in Anambra State.

A list of several other lawmakers and how they allegedly sponsored projects scattered across several ministries, departments and agencies were also captured by the leaked documents.

The House has remained under fire from Mr. Jibrin since July 21, a day after he was removed as chair of the committee.

Speaker Yakubu Dogara, his deputy, Yusuf Lasun, House Whip, Alhassan Doguwa and Minority Leader, Leo Orgor, have remained Mr. Jibrin’s main target in his campaign, which has so far triggered separate investigations from law enforcement agencies.

Mr. Azubago told PREMIUM TIMES he had not done anything “untoward in allocating projects to my constituency,” saying Mr. Jibrin also “allocated more than N4 billion to his own constituency.”