13 June 2017

Nigeria: Budget Padding - EFCC Invites Jibrin

Photo: Presidency Nigeria
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has signed the 2017 Appropriation Bill into law.

The suspended former Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumuni Jibrin, has been invited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Mr. Jibrin's invitation is based on his allegations on budget padding against the leadership of the House and to answer questions concerning money looted through padding in the 2016 budget.

The EFCC's letter of invitation to Mr. Jibrin dated June 9 was signed by the acting Head of Extractive Industry Grid Section, Michael Wetkas.

It said: "The commission has commenced investigation into the petition of corrupt practices and abuses of office reported on 1st August, 2016, by Hammart and Co. (Tafida Chambers) on your behalf against Hon. Yakubu Dogara, Hon. Yussuf Lasun, Hon. Alhassan Doguwa, Hon. Leonard Ogor and others.

"In furtherance of the investigation and due to unfolding findings, it has become imperative to request that you attend another interview with the team.

"Through Ibrahim Ahmed on 13th June 2017 at the 3rd floor Block A, No.5 Fomelu street, off Adetokumbo Ademola Crescent, Wuse 2, Abuja, at 10 a.m. to clarify some issues to enable us conclude investigation".

Mr. Jibrin in a statement on Monday in Abuja confirmed receipt of the letter.

He said: "Today, I received invitation from the EFCC for another interview to clarify some issues to enable the commission conclude investigation on my petition against some principal officers of the House on 2016 budget fraud, corruption and abuse of office.

"This is a welcome development as it is coming at a time that many Nigerians have lost hope that the outcome of my petition will not see the light of the day.

"I have severally maintained that I have full confidence in the EFCC under the chairmanship of Ibrahim Magu.

"I am also aware that the EFCC have been investigating the petition I submitted and far reaching discoveries were made.

"It is also noteworthy that this invitation is coming at a time that some revelations were made last week.

"The revelations with details of how the Minority Leader of the House, Leo Ogor, used his company where he is the signatory to the accounts to execute constituency project contracts completely against the laws of our land.

"It is however worrisome that in his response, Ogor admitted the offence and even boosted that there is nothing wrong in what he did as quoted by The Nation newspaper.

"Let me state emphatically clear that any Member or Senator who used his company or companies with links to him to execute constituency project contracts, whether such contracts are executed or not has committed an offence.

"Either way you look at it, he can be prosecuted on charges of corruption or abuse of office.

"The case of Leo Ogor is same or even worse than that of Babachir Lawal, yet the entire National Assembly has maintained an embarrassing silence.

"Is my boss, Senate President and Chairman of National Assembly, Sen. Bukola Saraki aware of this?

"In due course, I will expose a lot of other issues in the 2017 budget that will shock Nigerians whether the authority decides to act on it or not."

(NAN)

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