Rights group asks Dogara, others to step aside over budget padding scandal
Following accusations and denials over alleged padding of the 2016 budget by some principal officers in the House of Representatives, a Lagos-based rights group, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has called on the Speaker Yakubu Dogara and others named in the simmering scandal to step aside.
This, the group said, is to allow for proper investigation into the matter.
In a related development, the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) has filed a petition with the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) seeking the immediate probe of the former chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Mr. Abdulmumini Jibrin over alleged non-execution of N418 million worth of contract in his home state of Kano.
Also, the Deputy Chief Whip of the House of Representatives and the member representing Owan Federal Constituency, Pally Iriase has alleged that Jibrin is blackmailing the lawmakers by making the allegations of budget padding against the Speaker and others.
The call to step aside made in a letter signed by SERAP’s Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni and sent to the Speaker, Dogara, a copy of which was made available to The Guardian yesterday, partly states: “Following confirmation received by SERAP from the EFCC that it has taken up and looking into SERAP’s petition to the body on the allegations that the leadership of the House of Representatives padded the 2016 budget to the tune of N481 billion, SERAP is now writing to request you to immediately step aside from your position as Speaker of the House of Representatives pending the out outcome of the investigation.”