Budget Scandal: Abdulmumini Appeals for Fair Hearing

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Damilola Oyedele in Abuja

Ahead of the resumption of lawmakers from their annual recess, the sacked Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Hon. Jibrin Abdulmumin has written a letter to his colleagues detailing the circumstances which led to his sack, and appealed to them for fair hearing.

In the 17 paged letter made available to THISDAY on Friday, Abdulmumin again reiterated his call for the resignation of Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Deputy Speaker Yussuff Sulaimon Lasun, Chief Whip Alhassan Ado Doguwa and Minority Leader Leo Ogor, to allow for independent investigations into the allegations of fraud and corruption he levelled against the four men.

The House has been embroiled in crises since the removal of Abdulmumin, who the House leadership accused of abuse of the budgetary process and misconduct. Abdulmumin, employing a scorched earth policy, embarked on a whistle blowing spree, accusing the four principal officers and chairmen of nine standing committees, of making senseless insertions into the 2016 budget.

He also petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACC) and the Nigeria Police, demanding investigation into allegations he raised against the principal officers and others.

In his letter to his colleagues, the embattled lawmaker explained that he had no choice than to present his case through the media, including social media, as he observed a campaign of falsehood against his person, allegedly sponsored by Dogara.

The letter read in part :

“I write to you my Hon Colleagues, as a representatives of the people of your constituency and Nigeria as a whole for four very important reasons; (I crave your indulgence to give me fair hearing and place yourself in my situation while you read this letter)…to explain to you why I had to release several statements and grant interviews to the media on the allegations I raised against Speaker Dogara and others during our recess,” he said.

“To give a background of the current crisis in the House (that is now fully in the public domain) as a result of the allegations of monumental fraud and abuse of office I levelled against Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Deputy Speaker Yusuf Lasun, Whip Alhassan Doguwa and Minority Leader Leo Ogor…To furnish you with the details of the allegations against Mr. Speaker and others so that urgent and decisive steps can be taken.”

In the letter, Abdulmumin again reiterated his innocence and absolved himself of any blame in the mishandling of the 2016 budget.

“I did my work as Appropriation Committee Chairman diligently. I followed all the laws and procedures. I neither excluded my Committee nor anybody. I have all the documents and video recordings of proceedings intact, especially the role played by my Appropriation Committee members as sub-committees who endorsed reports of standing committees before our admission,” he added.

He added that the lawmakers have a rare opportunity to show zero tolerance for corruption in the house, particularly as he has expressed willingness to stand as witness.

“They have become a baggage that should be offloaded before they weigh down the House. From every part of Nigeria and the world, that is the opinion of people. The House must act very quickly and decisively. This case is the most important matter of urgent importance in the history of the House,” Abdumumin said.