Budget Scandal,External Forces At Work – Gombe Reps Says

The caucus, which addressed a press conference in Abuja
on the budget padding allegation leveled against Speaker
Yakubu Dogara, his deputy, Lassun Yussuf and other
principal officers by the former House Appropriation
Committee Chairman, Abdulmumin Jibrin, said it would not
be part of any group that would cause instability in the
House.
The lawmakers that signed the press statement were Reps
Ali Isa, Aishatu Jibrin Dukku, Ustaz Yunusa Ahmad
Abubakar, Binta Bello, Ismaila Muazu Hassan and Yaya
Bauchi Tongo.
Bello was, however, absent at the briefing.
“Most definitely, the House has enjoyed considerable peace
and stability under the able leadership of Speaker Yakubu
Dogara, but it seems some persons, both within and outside
the House, are bent on scuttling this atmosphere of peace
engendered by our amiable Speaker, Rt. Hon. Yakubu
Dogara.
“We of the Gombe State caucus of the House of
Representatives wish to categorically and publicly declare
that we are not part of any evil group trying to cause
disaffection and instability in the House of Representatives,
and we in like manner, dissociate ourselves from any
conspiracy and attack against Speaker Yakubu Dogara and
the entire leadership of the House”.
While describing Jibrin’s allegations as “wild goose chase”,
the lawmakers said they were “appalled and shocked that
Hon Jibrin only came out with this accusation just after the
House has duly sacked him as appropriation Committee
Chairman over the offence of unlawfully inflating the
budget in his own favour!”
According to the caucus, soon after President Muhammadu
Buhari presented the 2016 budget estimates to the National
Assembly last December, the former appropriation
committee chair wrote all members, requesting them to send
details of projects they wanted captured in their
constituencies, which all lawmakers complied with.
“But we are now shocked and surprised that Hon.
Abdulmumin Jibrin is now using these same letters to
blackmail the House as guilty of padding the Federal
Budget! What a shame”, they added.
“The world, particularly Nigerians, must be told that the
figures being reeled out by Hon. Jibrin as his basis of
blackmail against the leadership of the House were actually
suggested by him.
“As a matter of fact, the Appropriation Committee under
the leadership of Hon. Jibrin initiated the allocation formula
with which the constituency projects of Honourable
Members were inserted into the 2016 budget.
“By reason of their leadership position, the Appropriation
Committee conceded significant provisions to the principal
officers of the House, but we are even shocked that Hon.
Jibrin who is not a principal officer, allocated provisions to
his Constituency far beyond what the principal officers he is
accusing got. So what is Hon. Jibrin’s point in this
shameless dance of absurdity?” the Gombe caucus queried.
But Jibrin, in his reaction, described the Gombe lawmakers’
action as a show of shame,” and that they only “succeeded
in only rehashing the accusation of lies leveled against me
by Speaker Dogara”.

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