Abdulmumin Jibrin, the ousted chairman of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Appropriation, on Monday, August 8, 2016, met with the Police Special Investigation Panel on the budget padding crisis in the House.
It was gathered that during the meeting, which began at 12pm at the Force headquarters, Abuja, Jibrin submitted a large number of documents and other evidence to prove his allegations against the speaker and the others he accused of padding the budget.
Sources said the lawmaker also promised to bring more documents that were germane to the investigation into the alleged insertions under constituency projects in the 2016 budget.
A source explained that the SIP, led by an assistant inspector-general of Police, Amodu Ali (retd.), received the documents with a promise to diligently study them.
The source said, “Jibrin came with documents which he handed over to the SIP on Monday. It was obvious that he was well prepared to establish his allegations against the leadership of the House. He promised to bring more documents during the week.”
It was learnt that the SIP had said it would take time to study the documents and other evidence before summoning the accused to defend themselves.
“This is a high-profile case, so, the SIP is not in a hurry to conclude it; members will take their time, carry out a forensic analysis of the evidence provided, conduct a thorough and diligent probe and by the time they are through, no one would be able to fault the report of the investigation,” another source stated.
It was gathered that Dogara’s posturing after his meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Villa on Friday, August 5, 2016 had initially confused police authorities who felt that he might have reached a political settlement with Buhari.
It was learnt that the Speaker’s statement that “budget padding is not an offence under the nation’s law” gave the public the impression that he and the president had agreed on the point.
Findings indicate that the investigation panel was later told not to get carried away by the speaker’s publicised visit to the president, but must get to the root of the scandal.
Jibrin had alleged that Dogara and three other principal officers requested the inclusion of N40 billion projects in the 2016 budget, besides sundry projects in sums ranging from N20 billion to N30 billion.
The other three are the Deputy Speaker, Mr. Lasun Yussuff; the Chief Whip, Mr. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa; and the Minority Leader, Mr. Leo Ogor.
He claimed that his refusal to oblige the four principal officers and his opposition to several financial infractions were responsible for his sacking by Dogara on July 20.
The House had said the allegations would be investigated internally by the committee on ethics and privileges after members would have reconvened on September 13 from their annual recess.
There had been claims and counterclaims of signature collection to pass a vote of confidence on Dogara or ask him to step down.
Jibrin had claimed that 250 members were backing the calls for Dogara to resign.
However, on Sunday, some members dismissed Jibrin’s figure and claimed that “80 per cent (288) of the lawmakers” were with Dogara.
None of the sides has made the acclaimed registers public