Budget Padding Allegations: Why Police is Discontinuing Probe of Dogara, Abdulmumin

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  • Hembe, ex-chair trade words over latter’s return to Nigeria Abdulmumin hails Speaker at 49

Dele Ogbodo and Damilola Oyedele in Abuja

The Chairman of the Special Investigation Panel (SIP), on the alleged padding of the 2016 budget, Assistant Inspector of Police (AIG), Ali Amodu, tuesday revealed why the panel set up by the Inspector General of Police (IG), Mr. Ibrahim Idris, to unravel the allegations and counter-allegations between the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, and former Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, Jibrin Abdulmumin, could not continue with its assignment.

The chairman, who spoke through the telephone, said police was no longer continuing with the probe because the EFCC had taken over the case and therefore, all matters relating to the probe can only be verified from EFCC.

Asked about his findings before handing over the case to EFCC, Ali, while declining further comment, claimed that the anti-graft would avail THISDAY its latest findings on the probe

While excusing himself from further engaging with THISDAY, he said he would not be able to comment further as he was driving and therefore cannot speak further.

With President Muhammadu Buhari recently commending the Speaker on his performance in office on his 49th birthday, the Abdulmumin, who has been on suspension has written to him on the need to reopen the case even as efforts to meet the president have been hitting brick walls.

The former Chairman on Appropriation in a statement on the allegations which was made available to the media said: “I write this letter to you Mr. President, as a last resort to seek action on the allegation of budget fraud, abuse of office and corruption I levelled against, Yakubu Dogara and three principal officers of the House of Representatives.”

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the House Committee on Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Hon. Herman Hembe, and Abdulmumin, yesterday traded words over the latter’s return to Nigeria after vowing not to do so.
Abdulmumin, in early November 2016, had left Nigeria for London, from where he issued a press statement vowing not to return to Nigeria until his safety was guaranteed.

The suspended lawmaker had alleged that Speaker Yakubu Dogara and his men, including Hembe were after his life, for his revelations of alleged corruption against them.

Abdulmumin had however returned to Nigeria at a date which THISDAY could not ascertain.
Hembe in a statement, said Abdulmumin fled back to Nigeria after reports of his ownership of five foreign accounts in Barclays bank and property located at No. 81, Cotswold Gardens, London, NW2, 1PE in London were published.
“I wish to remind Jibrin that there is no longer hiding place for criminals. He fled to UK after getting hint that anti-graft agencies in Nigeria were investigating him in order to avoid arrest and prosecution,” the statement read.

“Now, having realised that even in the UK, the National Crime Agency and the Financial Intelligence Unit have already profiled him and may soon open a case against him; he quietly sneaked back to Nigeria. His days of freedom are numbered and sooner than later he will face the full wrath of the law,” it added.
Abdulmumin in a counter statement said he returned to the country at the invitation of one of the anti-corruption agencies who required additional information from him.

He however did not disclose which of the anti-graft agencies he visited.
“I visited the agency and provided what they required and sign to stand witness. Hon Hembe is obviously aware of this fact and has been panicking and running helter-skelter including trying to get the Speaker to intervene and save him,” he said.

“I travelled peacefully from the Nnamdi Azikwe airport Abuja and landed at Heathrow airport and same on my way back. I also enjoyed my stay in London and other part of Europe catching up with my vast international network, delivering lectures and granting interviews,” Abdulmumin added.

In an interesting development, Abdulmumin expressed birthday wishes to Dogara who clocked 49 on December 26, 2016.
In a tweet yesterdat, Abdulmumin said: “This is to wish Mr. Speaker @ SpeakerDogara a happy 49th birthday and many prosperous years ahead. Wishing you God guidance and blessings.”