The Minority leader of the House of Representative, Honorable Leo Ogor, today while speaking in an interview on the Channels Television morning show Sunrise Daily, directly blamed the recent saga of budget padding allegations leveled against the leadership of the House of Representative, by the now sacked chairman of appropriation committee Hon Abdulmunin Jibrin.
The House of Representatives had earlier said it is the ignorance of the workings of the budget process to accuse it of padding because there is nothing like that.
This is as the leadership of the House had also earilier challenged the former Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin to show evidence of complicity of the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara and the others allegedly accused of padding the 2016 budget.
The leadership has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate Jibrin since his chairmanship of the Finance Committee in the 7th Assembly.
“One of the fundamental reasons why the House Leadership removed him is that, he was found not to be fit and proper person to hold such a sensitive office which exposes him to high officials of government at all levels.
“Furthermore, in the course of the performance of his duties as Chairman of Appropriations Committee, it became evident that he does not possess the temperament and maturity required for such a high office.
“Tendency and proclivity to blackmail colleagues and high government officials and misuse and mishandle sensitive government information:
“He was in the habit of collating, warehousing and manipulating sensitive information to blackmail people sometimes apparently for pecuniary purposes. And by the virtue of his position as Appropriations Chairman, he meets with very high and senior public officers at all levels.
“The Speaker and the Leadership were inundated with complaints by heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) over harassment from the House Appropriations Chairman to engage in conduct and acts unbecoming of their offices.
“The Leadership launched an internal investigation into these allegations and was largely satisfied that action had to be taken to remove him, in the interest of the integrity of the House.
“One clear example is the insertion of Funds for the so called Muhammadu Buhari Film Village in his Constituency in Kano State without the consent or solicitation of Mr. President. This has brought both Mr President and the government to disrepute.
“Again, it was found out that he was fond of inserting projects into prominent persons’ constituencies without their knowledge to curry favour and possibly use it as a means of blackmail against them when necessary.
“One of such is the numerous projects he claimed in a Channels TV interview in April 2016, to have cited in Mr. President’s home town of Daura, Katsina State without Mr. President’s solicitation or knowledge, in a desperate attempt to blackmail Mr. President as an answer and a justification for allocation of N4.1b to his constituency when confronted by the interviewer.
“He did not stop there. Hon Abdulmumin went about soliciting Honourable members to nominate projects for him to help them include in the Budget. When called upon to defend his actions as Appropriation’s Chairman, all he did was to be calling names of those members and the amount he helped include for them in the Budget in an unsuccessful bid to silence them.
“Most of the affected members took serious exceptions to his despicable antics and sundry acts of blackmail and protested to the Leadership to prevail on Hon Abdulmumin to expunge from the Budget what he claimed he allocated to them since they did not solicit for those projects.”
Jibrin was also accused of being responsible for the friction between the National Assembly and the executive over the 2016 budget through his incompetence, mismanagement of the process and hidden agenda.