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Friday, 29 July 2016

“I Stand By My Allegations, No Apologies”—Lawmaker Jibrin Dares Speaker Dogara

Member of the House of Representatives, Abdulmumin Jibrin, who is at the center of a political row over the illicit inflation of budget figures has vowed never to apologize to Speaker Yakubu Dogara over his allegations that the speaker was corrupt and had pressured him to add billions of naira to the 2016 budget.
Last week, Speaker Dogara announced in the House that Mr. Jibrin was being replaced as the chairman of the appropriations committee, citing the lawmaker’s alleged betrayal of trust in padding the budget with billions of naira of unauthorized expenditures. But Mr. Jibrin and his lawyers countered with claims that the erstwhile chairman had not been sacked, but had voluntarily stepped down for personal reasons. Mr. Jibrin, who like Speaker
Dogara is a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), also accused Mr. Dogara and three other top officers of allocating projects worth N40 billion to themselves in the 2016 budget continued.
The verbal face-off between Speaker Dogara and the legislator, who represents the Kiru/Bebeji constituency in Kano State, has riveted Nigerians on social media, opening a rare window into the nature and scope of legislative corruption. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo seized on the scandal to reaffirm his statement that Nigeria’s legislative chambers were filled with rogues and gluttons.
In a recent statement, Speaker Dogara gave the former appropriations committee chairman a seven-day ultimatum to submit an unreserved apology to him and retract all allegations made against him or face legal action.
But in a series of tweets today, Mr. Jibrin defiantly declared, “I will not and will never apologize to a shameless fraud in high office who has glaringly abused public trust like speaker Dogara and 3 others.”
Mr. Jibrin described Mr. Dogara’s threat of legal action as “quite predicable”. Writing in his verified twitter account, ‪@AbdulAbmJ, Mr. Jibrin stated, “I know he will rush to court in order to invoke the House rules that matters in court cannot be heard on the floor.”
He added: “I have responded to their allegations. Rather than respond to mine, he is rushing to court. I stand by my allegations and will not withdraw them.”
Mr Jibrin noted that the speaker “failed to realize that the law is not intended to protect corrupt people. It is such a shame.” Seemingly unperturbed, the lawmaker from Kano State announced that his lawyers had approached the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) as well as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
“I am happy to announce that my lawyers have officially approached the EFCC and the ICPC towards working out a date for me to personally submit my petition against Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Deputy Speaker Yusuf Lasun, Whip Alhassan Doguwa and Minority Leader Leo Ogor,” Mr. Jibrin stated.
He further tweeted: “I believe once a date is agreed with the anti-corruption agencies, we would have begun the process of making these characters pay for abusing their office.”
Mr. Jibrin had demanded the immediate resignation of Speaker Dogara and the three other principal officers for allocating N40 billion to themselves out of N100 billion earmarked for all lawmakers’ constituency projects.