Budget Padding: CSOs Task EFCC to Investigate Dogara, Others

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Shola Oyeyipo
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been urged investigate the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara and other principal officers of the House on the allegations of padding 2016 budget, to ascertain their level of culpability in the matter.

In a petition addressed to the acting EFCC Chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Magu and received on his behalf by the head of the Lagos office, Mr. Iliyasu Kwarbai and signed by the Executive Director, Conscience Nigeria, Tosin Adeyanju and the Executive Director, Center for Public Accountability, Femi Lawson, the coalition of civil society said the anti-graft body should unearth facts behind the padding by investigating all those involved in the interest of the country.

Members of the groups who marched to the Lagos EFCC office yesterday, said as stakeholders in the Nigerian project, they want the commission to commence an immediate investigation into the allegations of padding of the 2016 budget by the leadership of the House.

“We are disturbed by what seems to be the grand conspiracy by some persons to discard the enormity of the depth of corruption involved in the entire scenario as Nigerians have been made to know over the past couple of weeks. It would be recalled that sometimes in June this year, the former Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Hon. Abdulmumin Jibril, spilled the beans on the numerous insertions that were illegally imputed into the 2016 budget of the country by the principal officers of the House in the course of working on the budget submitted to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari for personal gains.

“Even though this practice of padding the budget illegally did not start today, we are worried that the present crops of members of the House are still in the business despite the stance of the current administration on issues of corruption”, the petition read in part.

They argued that there was the need to look deeply into the matter against the background of the allegation that Dogara got N3billion worth of projects for his constituency, diverted federal water project meant for people of Bauchi State to his farm in Nasarawa State, that the deputy Speaker, Hon Yusuf Lasun, got N2.5billion worth of projects for his constituency, Hon. Ado Doguwa got N1.8billion worth of projects for his constituency with others like Leo Ogor, Abdulmumini Jibrin, Femi Gbajabiamila, Bala Jibril, Pally Iriase, Chukwuka Onyema and Binta Bello all got varying amounts of projects for their constituencies.