By Emman Ovuakporie
OUUSTED former Chairman House of Representatives, Hon Abvdulmunin Jibrin has challenged Speaker Yakubu Dogara to provide evidence of corruption against him on the issue of budget padding.
Jibrin in a reaction to a statement issued by the body of principal officers on Thursday said till date no response has been made by the four principal officers on his allegations that they padded the 2016 budget.
In the statement issued late evening yesterday, Jibrin said”when I heard that the body of Principal Officers of the House was locked in a marathon meeting for about 6 hours yesterday to brainstorm on the DOGARA-GATE scandal, I knew that nothing better than a junk befitting the dustbin would come out of it.
“I was convinced about that, and can reasonably draw the inference because shameless crooks, corrupt and fraudulent persons like Speaker Dogara, Deputy Lasun, Whip Doguwa and a common criminal like the minority Leader Leo Ogor were in the meeting.
“It is clear Speaker Dogara is not in anyway prepared to respond to the allegations I raised, but one can clearly see from his pronouncements, actions and body language that he is more interested in running helter-skelter to hold on to power.
” A power only him, the 3 Principal Officers and 9 other members seem not to realize he had completely lost the moral ground to continue as Speaker. They are confused and are completely lost in the labyrinth of DOGARA-GATE.
“Those familiar with the House politics know that Dogara’s antics were last kicks of a dying horse. Looking beyond the corrupt regime of Yakubu Dogara, the first duty of the new Speaker is to implement a wide range of internal reforms. Speaker Dogara does not have the credibility to superintend over the reforms. Iam pretty sure every Nigerian expected the meeting to SIMPLY respond to the barrage of allegations I have leveled against the QUARTET but not at all. The statement issued which did not represent the shameless conduct of threats, violent tendencies and dirty confessions by the QUARTET against the other 6 members of the body that actually transpired at the meeting focused on the same old story of trying to find ONE consistent allegation against me or ONE reason for my “sack” that can stand the test of truth. Once again, they failed woefully.
“For the umpteenth time, the reason they provide for my “sack” keep changing. First it was padding, then immaturity, betrayal and inability to handle sensitive documents. I still dey laugh… The latest of the delirious allegations is abuse of budget process or putting the budget in jeopardy. Funny. I bet you tomorrow they will come up with another lie.
” The allegations they are making against me keep changing at such a rate that even Chameleon can not compete at such a speed.
“On the contrary, my allegations against them remained consistent! Why have they not been able to call me corrupt or say I corruptly enrich myself in the 5 years I have spent in the House, just the way I maintain that they are bunch of thieves, rogues and common criminals? Anyway, they should please forward their allegations against me to the relevant authorities and stand witness the way I have done against them.
“I heard on good authority that contrary to what was brandished in the media as resolution of the meeting, the whole session was an extension of the grand disgraceful plan by Speaker Dogara and the 3 other Principal Officers to coerce the other members of the body of Principal Officers to come out in their defence since the Speaker and the 3 others know very well that they are on their way to jail.
They just want to drag as many people as possible into the matter to use it as a shield or create a situation that in their foolish way of thinking will compel me to implicate the 6 other Principal Officers or other people both in NASS and the Executive Arm. They are obviously looking for co-travellers. You can see the pattern of systematic blackmail desperately trying to drag in the Executive and the Senate. Iam just too strong for them. They need more forces to fight Hon. Jibrin!
“On the issue of media war, I did not embark upon any media war. The House of Representatives is a public institution and all Iam doing is to provide information to the public. It is their right to know. But it is curious that all the sponsored personal attacks and very expensive media campaign they launched against my person, they do not consider that a media war except when I insist they respond to the allegations I raised to provide insight on the corruption being perpetrated by the QUARTET in the house. If that amounts to media war, so be it!
“They failed to state clearly HOW I abused the budget process or place the documents or process in jeopardy. But how? Has any ministry, department or agency of government complained about me? They failed to name any. Cheap cheap cheap blackmail and wild wild wild goose chase! No facts just empty vague allegations just to divert attention and buy time.
I have explained that it is the QUARTET of Dogara, Lasun, Doguwa and Ogor that desperately wanted me out and the simple reason is my refusal to be used to commit budget fraud or to play “ball” — no more no less. But when Lasun took over as Chairman of the harmonization committee, he did “a great job” for the corrupt QUARTET. He FANTASTICALLY loaded the budget with all the poisonous insertions they wanted. I have forwarded documents to that effect to the anti-corruption agencies.
“My colleagues were upset with me because of the propaganda of lies that the QUARTET spread across the House and the fact that I did not open up on time and tell them my ordeal and the fact that these corrupt 4 are the culprits, but now that they know, I receive messages of solidarity every day. We are waiting for that slow motion of a truth as they claimed.
“But even if the corrupt Speaker Dogara and his gang of 3 other Principal Officers have the support of the body of Principal Officers, the 360 members, body of Principal Officers of the Senate, the 109 Senators and even if they have the support of Minister of budget and his entire team and the so called MDAs that allegedly complained about me, will that in any way affect the fact that Speaker Dogara and the 3 others took the decision and stole N40 billion out of the N100billion for constituency project without the approval of the House, inserted wasteful projects of over N20 billion, attempted to force me to insert N30 billion worth of projects and another N20 billion in the service wide vote fraudulently in the name of NASS, which I rejected, ignored and complained that about 10 committee chairs inserted about 2,000 projects worth N284billion in the first version of the budget.
“Speaker Dogara operates the finances of the house in absolute secrecy, awarded wasteful contracts using funds meant for the House, uses the issue of rents to siphon money, engaged in money laundering and fraud during the purchase of cars in the 7th House, implements dubious mortgage plan to defraud the House, diverted federal government project to his farm. The latest discovery is that he also included a free PHCN reticulation in the farm! Mr Speaker, no 4 citizen, a thief and a rogue, what a shame! How is the farm even funded? From few hectares in the last few months to almost 100 hectares equipped with modern facilities and equipment. There are many other allegations. Will all the stage-managed support of the principal officers change these facts? Let me restate that the QUARTET of Speaker Dogara, Lasun, Doguwa and Ogor were the ones that colluded to steal the 40billion and took the decision on how the money was shared among few others
“I am pleading with the security and anti-corruption agencies to be vigilant because Speaker Dogara is moving freely and destroying evidence. Let me assure Nigerians that I will continue with this struggle even if I am alone!