Why I Was Removed As House Appropriation Committee Chair – Jibrin
Sacked Chairman of House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation Abdulmimin Jibrin, yesterday allged that his disagreement with the leadership of the House over injection of about N90billion personal projects into the 2016 budget accounted for his removal.
He said the body of principal officers was uncomfortable with him over his refusal to cover up plans to allocate N40billion constituency projects to the principal officers out of the N100billion allocated to the entire National Assembly.
He also alleged that Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Deputy Speaker Yusuf Lasun, Chief Whip,Ado Doguwa and Minority Leader Leo Ogor, met to demand the N40billion worth of projects in addition to about N20billion “wasteful projects” which they allocated to their constituencies.
He accused the Speaker of seeking N30billion personal requests with three other offices.
He said he was weighing legal options if the House won’t allow him to explore internal mechanisms to explain his side of the budget padding fiasco.
Jibrin, who opened up on his twitter account, said his removal was to cover up the 2016 Budget padding secrets before the recess, which commenced after yesterday’s sitting. The House will return in September.
He said the budget padding won’t be swept under the carpet adding that it is a major issue which will define the next session of the House after resumption.
He said: “I strongly believe with every conviction that in cleaning up the budgeting system and considering what transpired during the 2016 budget, which I have all the facts and documented, Speaker Dogara, Deputy Speaker Lasun, Whip Doguwa and Minority Leader, Leo Ogor should resign.
“These members of the body of principal officers were not comfortable with my independent disposition and my refusal to cover up their unilateral decision to allocate to themselves N40billion out of the N100billion allocated to the entire National Assembly.
“The four of them met and took that decision in addition to billions of wasteful projects running over N20billion they allocated to their constituencies.
“They must come out clean. My inability to admit into the budget almost N30billion personal requests from Mr. Speaker and the three other principal officers also became an issue.
“I have every documented evidence to this effect.”
He gave further insights into what transpired between the House leadership and members on how to manage the N100billion allocated to the National Assembly and why he was stopped from further briefing the lawmakers on the 2016 budget.
He added: “After the submission of the first version of the budget which was returned by Mr. President, I briefed members in Executive Session and told them as agreed at our pre-budget meeting with chairmen and deputy chairmen of standing committees.
“We simply adopted their reports with little amendments. Nobody faulted my submission.
“Members insisted they must know how the N100billion was allocated, I told them the truth.
“Since after that meeting, Mr. Speaker with the support of the three other principal officers effectively blocked me from briefing members and ensured I was not at the last Executive session and refused to investigate the issues I raised that I believe must be addressed if we intend to build a better budget system for the House.”
“I gave Mr. Speaker statistics of 2000 new projects introduced into the budget by less than 10 committee chairmen without the knowledge of their committee members.
“He did nothing about it because he was part of the mess. Yet he is talking about improving the budget system.”
Jibrin insisted that he resigned as the chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation.
He alleged that the Speaker misled the public on what transpired when they met.
He added: “Meanwhile, I intend to explore all internal avenues of the House to brief my colleagues in detail and testify against Speaker Dogara; Deputy Lasun Yusuf; Chief Whip Doguwa and Minority Leader, Ogor on why they should resign.
“If I am not allowed to exercise my privilege, I shall consider legal options. I can no longer bear the brunt of abuses and baseless allegations, keeping quiet all in the name of ‘confidentiality’ expected of an appropriation chairman.”
“I will not allow anybody, no matter how highly-placed, to destroy my life as intended by the full statement of Speaker Yakubu Dogara.”
“It is a fact I went to the Speaker and told him clearly I wanted to leave. He confirmed this in his statement but it appeared he wished he had fired me instead of my personal decision to step down.
“Speaker Dogara’s statement was a complete misrepresentation of the facts, false, mischievous, unfair and a calculated attempt to bring my name to disrepute, blackmail, silence and use me as a scapegoat.
“The plan is to execute it just before the recess so that by the time we return, I would have been buried and the issue forgotten.
“Mr. Speaker, this will never be swept under the carpet. We are closing for recess with it and we shall commence the next session with it.
Jibrin said: “I did nothing wrong. I worked within the rules of the House and instructions of Mr. Speaker
Jibrin threatened to release further details.