•Says two governors blocking him from Buhari, again alleges threat to life
By Damilola Oyedele in Abuja
The face-off between the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, and the former Chairman of the Committee on Appropriation, Hon. Jibrin Abdulmumin, has shown no sign of thawing as the latter has publicly queried his sack for an offence, budget padding, that technically does not exist.
He said this in reaction to statements credited to Dogara at the weekend, that padding is not corruption, and does not exist.
Abdulmumin, in a statement yesterday said Dogara’s statement is a disgraceful contradiction, after stating that he, Abdulmumin was sacked for padding the budget.
“He didn’t know that by that statement he has clearly confirmed my allegation that he and three others connived with some committee chairmen to insert into the budget over 2,000 items worth N284billion. No wonder he refused to take action despite my complaint. Now that I have provided evidence that he and three others masterminded the insertion of N40 billion into the budget, another wasteful N20billion and attempt to force me to insert another N30billion into the budget, padding is no longer an offence?,” he asked.
Dogara and Abdulmumin have been at loggerheads since the latter’s sack as chairman of the coveted committee on appropriation. Employing a scorched earth policy, Abdulmumin has made damning revelations of fraud, corruption and abuse of office against Dogara, Deputy Speaker, Yussuff Sulaimon Lasun, Chief Whip, Alhassan Ado Doguwa and Minority Leader Leo Ogor.
He also petitioned the anti graft agencies against the four men and chairmen of 11 standing committees of the House.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) intervening in the messy public face off, had last Thursday, barred all parties from making public statements on the matter while the party attempts to resolve it. The directive has now been broken by Dogara and Abdulmumin.
Abdulmumini, yesterday’s statement explained that he has decided to speak out again after observing happenings in the last three days, particularly as a very expensive media campaign to discredit and attack his person has been ongoing.
The embattled lawmaker also alleged that two governors and three former members of the House, whose identities he refused to disclose, have designed a plan to provide a soft landing for Dogara, and the other persons he accused of corruption.
“Give them time to clean up the mess on their desk, destroy whatever evidence in their possession and reach, spread money across members to buy signature of vote of confidence, try to scare and drag as many people as they can into this matter, invade the party and top government officials and influential people that have the ears of the president and try to change the media and public narrative by embarking on a very expensive media campaign to discredit and attack my person with all manner of lies they can concoct,” he said.
Alleging that the cabal of two governors and three former members have blocked him from reaching President Muhammadu Buhari to provide a different perspective, Abdulmumin pleaded with former Heads of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd), Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo (rtd), Alhaji Shehu Shagari, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (rtd), Chief Ernest Shonekan, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd) and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan for their intervention.
“And the diplomatic community, particularly Ambassador of the United States of America, High Commissioner of the United Kingdom, the German and French Ambassadors and all well-meaning Nigerians to join in the call on the corrupt and fraudulent Speaker Dogara and the others to reconvene the House immediately, step aside and allow for a thorough external investigation and also call on the anti-corruption agencies to expedite action on investigation and commencement of prosecution in line with the anti corruption stance of this government,” he alleged.
Not done, Abdulmumin further raised the alarm on threat to his life allegedly by Dogara and ‘some vested interests’ within and outside the House.
“I no longer feel safe. I have carefully followed their desperation to suppress what will go down in history as the biggest corruption case in Nigeria. I have prepared myself for any eventuality. I have spoken to my mother and father extensively during the weekend. I have prepared my family. I have handed over a handwritten note and documents to a popular SAN, a man of integrity and other persons that I believe will lay it bare even if they succeed in killing me,” he said.
The statement reads in full:
“It has once again become necessary for me to make some statements, clarifications and further revelations. As you are aware, my party, the APC. has intervened in the current crisis following allegations of corruption, embezzlement and gross abuse of office I levelled against Dogara, three other principal officers and nine other members of which none had responded to any.
“As I said earlier, it is only the 13 members of the House that are on trial not the House of Representative as an institution. Surprisingly, they have resorted to using every tactics to narrow the allegations to only issue of padding, which in itself is a grievous offence, ignoring tens of other criminal allegations contained in my petition to the anti-corruption agencies. In doing so, they mischievously expanded the scope of the culpability to give an impression that the entire House, Senate and even the executive arm of government and some individuals outside National Assembly are on trial.
“This is a wicked attempt to drag many institutions and individuals into the matter to neutralise the issue, spread fear and sell the dummy that the entire country will go down if this matter is dealt with decisively. This is the biggest blackmail I have ever seen. Nigerians should know that the whole agenda of this blackmail is being coordinated by a group of five people, two serving governors and three former members of the House. I will give their names in due course. They have been running pillar to post and I keep wondering what really do they have to hide or are afraid of since they are not members of the House?”
“The meeting with the party went very well and in all honesty. they (party leaders) were very objective and showed understanding. I told the party that I would be part of any peaceful resolution except on the criminal allegations I have raised against Dogara and 12 others. On that, I told the party there is no going back and further informed them that more revelations will be made once investigation commences. I also informed the party that I will stand as witness against them and provide every support that will help investigation and prosecution of these 13 extremely corrupt members. The party wrote and asked that Dogara and I should stop further public statements on this issue. I respected the party and stopped further statement but kept a close watch on what was going on. Of course I have my network everywhere.”
According to him,“After three days of careful observation and receiving information from very patriotic Nigerians, I discovered a grand plan by the group of two Governors and three former members designed to provide soft-landing for Dogara and 12 others, give them time to clean up the mess on their desk, destroy whatever evidence in their possession and reach, spread money across members to buy signature of vote of confidence, try to scare and drag as many people as they can into this matter, invade the party and top government officials and influential people that have the ears of the president and try to change the media and public narrative by embarking on very expensive media campaign to discredit and attack my person with all manner of lies they can concoct.”
“I have made it a duty to respond to all the allegations against me. The latest they brought up this weekend has already been taken care of in my soon-to-be-released memoir. But I have decided not to wait until my birthday in September to release it. I will start releasing the memoir in piecemeal any moment from now so that answers to their cheap blackmail, including the junk and lies they peddle in the media, will be provided. While I was determined to observe the ceasefire, Dogara and his group of few rogues didn’t. I called Sen Lawali Shuaibu and complained on Thursday, Friday and Sunday. He promised to reach the Speaker. On Friday the Speaker spoke to the press after meeting the president on the matter, and they launched a massive attack on me on Saturday and today Sunday in the media, while the party is keeping a sealed lip. No body will blame me that I responded. I am completely convinced that the two Governors and three former members were already at work. I know them like the palms of my hands, and I know how they operate. But Almighty God is more than them.”
“I was shocked and dumbfounded when I saw the Speaker on television saying padding is not an offense not because of the disgraceful contradiction after clearly stating that I was “sacked” for padding but I could not believe he could have the temerity to make such reckless, insensitive, arrogant and fraudulent statement right within the sanctity of the president’s Presidential Villa, a place that symbolizes zero tolerance for corruption. If you watched the Speaker on the screen talking, you can clearly see that from his face, cap, Agbada, down to his shoes, it was a radiation of corruption, dirty money, monumental fraud and abuse of office. It was irritating to see such character around the corridors of power.”
“He didn’t know that by that statement he has clearly confirmed my allegation that he and 3 others connived with some committee chairmen to insert into the budget over 2,000 items worth 284billion naira. No wonder he refused to take action despite my complaint. Now that I have provided evidence that he and 3 others masterminded the insertion of 40 billion naira into the budget, another wasteful 20billion naira and attempt to force me to insert another 30billion naira into the budget, padding is no longer an offense???! So the Speaker is saying the nine roads he inserted into the budget which he fraudulently sandwiched into 4 roads and inserted billions into that without any design or costing is not an offense? Or the water project he hijacked from the budget and took to his farm is not an offense? Or moving ten solar boreholes to a place that probably requires just two is not an offense? This has really proved that Speaker Dogara is the son, father, grand father and great grand father of padding! Nigerians are watching!!!”
“Let me make further revelations here. In addition to the allegations I already made, the anti-corruption agencies should ask Speaker Dogara why on earth he collects 25million naira every month just to spend it the way he wants. They should also ask him to provide proof of how he is funding his farm in Nasarawa State which was just few hectares six months ago and now miraculously expands to about 100 hectares with new buildings and state-of-the-art equipment worth millions as well as the mansion he has suddenly built in Wuse II within six months.”
“It will be unfair to drag the Senate or senators into this matter. Everybody knows that it is the House that has commanding powers over appropriation. There is nothing in the senate appropriation committee secretariat, that is why I requested for the protection of only that of the House when I heard Dogara was planning to destroy the computers and the hardware. The Senate president was too busy then to even get involved. He was always receiving what I later realized was skeletal briefing from the Speaker. It is also a strong tradition of the National Assembly that in an event of disagreement between standing committee of the Senate and the House, that of the House supersedes.”
“ That was exactly what we did on 2016 budget except that of Health, where we adopted the report of the Senate because the chairman House Committee on Health practically converted the budget to his personal estate, moving massive amount of money that made the whole exercise looked like a big joke. I heard the chairman Hon Chike Okafor talking, trying to put defence on TV, and I simply said truly looters have no shame in Nigeria. The Minister of Health Prof Adewale is alive to testify and he knows the role I played to get the health budget, atleast to an implementable shape.”
“All government and security agencies and top government functionaries should be wary of the activities of these two governors and three former members going round trying to blackmail the Senate and the Executive arm of government in order to diffuse and neutralize the allegations that will change the history of Nigerian parliament for good. We may never have this kind of opportunity to deal decisively with corruption in the House. We may never! If you observe carefully, you will notice attempts last week to wickedly drag the Senate, DSS, SGF and others into this matter.”
“ This is all orchestrated by the group of 2 governors, 3 former members and Speaker Dogara and his corrupt cabal. Nobody is in a better position than me to know who the culprits are. The next time you see them in your offices trying to blackmail you that these allegations will bring down the whole country, report them to the police immediately. These allegations are on Speaker Dogara and 12 others and will not in anyway bring down the House, the Senate or the Executive arm of government as they are claiming in their widely spread propaganda.”
“Part of the grand plan is also to peg the blackmail on religious line. Speaker Dogara forgot that it was me, a Muslim from North West that spearheaded his election despite all the challenges I faced.”
“I believe Speaker Dogara, the 12 others and some vested interest within and outside the House want to kill me. I no longer feel safe. I have carefully followed their desperation to suppress what will go down in history as the biggest corruption case in Nigeria. I have prepared myself for any eventuality. I have spoken to my mum and dad extensively during the weekend. I have prepared my family. I have handed over a handwritten note and documents to a popular SAN, a man of integrity and other persons that I believe will lay it bare even if they succeed in killing me.”
“It is a fact that all the members that signed for Dogara’s vote of confidence collected money in a shameful and disgraceful exercise, and despite that the consensus remains the Speaker must step aside and face external investigation.”
“Finally, this cabal of two governors and three former members have blocked every avenue that I can use to reach the President so that he can get a different perspective on this issue. I am therefore left with no choice than to plead with all our former Heads of State, Gen Yakubu Gowon, Gen Olusegun Obasanjo, Alh Shehu Shagari, Gen Ibrahim Babangida, Chief Enest Shonekan, Gen Abdulsalam Abubakar and Dr Goodluck Jonathan and the diplomatic community, particularly Ambassador of the United States of America, High Commissioner of the United Kingdom, the German and French Ambassadors and all well-meaning Nigerians to join in the call on the corrupt and fraudulent Speaker Dogara and 3 others to reconvene the House immediately, step aside and allow for a thorough external investigation and also call on the anti-corruption agencies to expedite action on investigation and commencement of prosecution in line with the anti corruption stands of this government.”