N40bn Padding scandal: House of Reps want probe of Dogara, others


There seems to be no let up to the 2016 budget scandal rocking the House of Representatives.
Over 100 members yesterday joined the fray, calling for “an external investigation with a view to finding out if our principal officers are guilty or not”.
They did not state if the probe should be by auditors or the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
Also yesterday, former Head of State Gen. Yakubu Gowon called for “stiff penalty” for anyone found guilty of the padding.
Former Appropriations Committee chairman Abdulmumin Jibrin blew the lid on the scandal following his removal last week by Speaker Yakubu Dogara.
He accused Dogara, Deputy Speaker Yusuff Lasun, Chief Whip Alhassan Ado Doguwa and Minority Leader Leo Ogor of appropriating to themselves N40 billion of the N100 billion meant for the 360-member House.
Dogara yesterday asked Jibrin to withdraw the allegation against him.
He threatened to sue for defamation, if Jibrin failed to withdraw the claim.
Jibrin vowed  not to retract the claim, daring Dogara to go to court.
Last Monday, former President Olusegun Obasanjo said the scandal has vindicated his claim that the National Assembly stinks.

Briefing reporters in Abuja, the 113 representatives known as Transparency Group distanced themselves from Dogara and Jibrin.
The group asked  Dogara, Lasun, Doguwa and Ogor to respond to the allegations against them as individuals.
Its spokesman Musa Soba (APC, Kaduna) said it was wrong for the Chairman, Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Abdulrazak Namdas to have claimed that the House was behind the Speaker on the issue.

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