26 July 2016
Akin to former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s statement in Abuja on Monday that he had been vindicated in his declaration last year that the National Assembly is full of corrupt people, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Rep. Abdulmumin Jibrin, has opened another can of worms.
He accused Speaker Yakubu Dogara and three principal officers of diverting money meant for the lawmakers’ official residence.
Jibrin made the allegation in a statement made available to newsmen on Monday in Abuja.
According to Jibrin, the Speaker and Deputy Speaker Yussuf Lasun diverted millions of naira all in the name of paying for guest houses and their official residence.
“The issue became so messy that the Deputy Speaker openly accused Rep. Herma Hembe of short-changing them of millions of naira in the deal to the shock of many members.
“Speaker Yakubu Dogara frequently abuse his office amounting to conflict of interest by soliciting for inappropriate favours from agencies and multinational companies.
“He forced an agency to grant loans and a construction company blackmailed to do some work at his Asokoro ‘plot’.
“Speaker Yakubu Dogara has carefully designed a scheme to scam members through deduction from their salaries certain amounts of money for a so-called mortgage arrangement to build houses for members.
“He has been applying every underhand tactics to ensure members agree to the deal,” he said.
Jibrin further alleged that the Speaker had consistently refused members access to the financial dealings and internal budget of the House.
According to him, the Speaker runs the financial management of the House like a cult aided and abated by the Chairman House Services, Rep. Babanlle Ila.
“It is no longer news that all over the House, members are aware of the monumental fraud perpetrated by Speaker Yakubu Dogara in this regard.
“We are even told that this is a child’s play compared to the mess and allegations of money laundering he left behind as Chairman House Services in both the 6th and 7th Assembly, ” the statement read in part.
According to Jibrin, the EFCC should have something to start working with in respect to his tenure as Chairman House Services, if they properly dust their files.
“I am, therefore once again, calling on colleagues and well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on Dogara, Deputy Speaker, Whip Ali Doguwa and Minority leader, Leo Ogor to put the interest of the country first.
“They should allow the House to conduct a thorough investigation into the allegations on them.
“This is just the tip of an iceberg. I will make further revelations in due course,” Jibrin threatened.
Responding to the allegations, the Special Adviser to the Speaker on Media and Public Affairs, Mr Hassan Turaki, described the allegations as false and baseless.
“These are all lies and desperate attempts of a drowning man to clutch unto anything found.
“All his frivolous allegations do not disclose any element of corruption or wrongdoing against the Speaker,” he said.
The crossfire between Dogara and Jubrin started since he was removed as chairman appropriation committee, which had led to avalanche of revelations on illegal activities of lawmakers in the padding of the recently-passed Appropriations Act.
Jubrin had accused the Speaker and some of his principal officers of adding N40 billion for themselves in the budget; he also claimed to have prevented the trio from perpetrating the fraudulent act.