Budget-Padding Tracker: SERAP asks EFCC to investigate Dogara, Jibrin

A rights advocacy group, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission to investigate the allegation of attempted budget padding leveled against the leadership of the House of Representatives.

Former chairman of the House Committee on appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin had said he was removed because of his refusal to play ball to pad the budget with over N40bn.

He pointed fingers at the Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara and three other principal officers of the House.

The others are the Deputy Speaker, Yussuff Lasun; the Chief Whip, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa; and the Minority Leader, Leo Ogor.

In a statement released on Sunday by SERAP, through its Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, the advocacy group called for a joint investigation by the EFCC and the ICPC into Jibrin’s allegations.

SERAP said, “Given the seriousness and gravity of the allegations against the leadership of the House, any investigation by the House would not be enough, as this would not meet the threshold of an effective, transparent and independent investigation. Nigerians won’t have confidence in the House investigating itself in this case.

“Referring the allegations to both the EFCC and the ICPC for a joint investigation would show that the House leadership is willing and able to enhance the transparency and accountability of its system and that of the National Assembly as a whole.

“The Speaker must now move swiftly to refer the allegations to the EFCC and the ICPC to allow for a swift, transparent, effective and independent investigation in order to contain the damage that is already done, but also not to create the impression of a cover-up.”

The speaker had dared Jibrin to make all his facts public stating he was only bitter that he was removed. Leo Ogor, the House Minority Leader also said Jibrin had no case and that his accusations was baseless.

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