A coalition of Nigerian civil society organizations, led by Conscience Nigeria and the Centre for Public Accountability, has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to ensure that everyone involved in the budget padding scandal in the House of Representatives is made to face the full wrath of the law.

In a statement copied to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, the coalition urged the EFCC also to investigate earlier allocations and contracts for constituency projects by the National Assembly.

“No good governance can be guaranteed or sustained in a situation of national moral epidemic when all institutions of government have been morally destroyed due to corruption,” the group said. 

“It will be a disservice to the nation and to us, Nigerians, as victims of corruption to leave the perpetrators of this act of corruption untouched, even in the face of glaring evidences of their involvements.”

Full text of the petition:

The Acting Chairman

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)

Abuja. 

Sir,

REQUEST FOR INVESTIGATION OF HON.SPEAKER YAKUBU DOGARA AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES LEADERSHIP OVER ALLEGATIONS OF 2016 BUDGET PADDING SCANDAL. 

Conscience Nigeria and Centre for Public Accountability in partnership with 30 other Civil Society Organizations brings you solidarity greetings. We must first commend the untiring effort of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission under your able leadership as we collectively work together as partners in Nation’s Building in our aspiration to rid our country of menace of corruption. 

We are unmindful that for the ongoing Anti-Corruption War to be successful, our Nation must ensure that there are no sacred cows, and no stone is left unturned in the course of the fight against corruption in Nigeria.

 We are writing this petition to you in our capacity, as patriotic Nigerians, and stakeholders in the Nigeria project, as we wish to call on your Commission to in the interest of our Nation commence an immediate investigation into the allegations of Padding of the 2016 Budget by the leadership of the Federal House of Representatives. 

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 Federal House of Representatives, Honourable 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 of Representatives 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 of Representatives are still in the business despite the stance of the current administration on issues of corruption.

 It is on record that over the years, the National Assembly has promoted Corruption as direct policy, with such an alarming rate of impunity and arrogance of being above the law. It is a known fact that no nation develops when you have such high profile looters parading as leaders prowling the nation’s political space with impunity. 

Sir, something just have to be done and be done urgently too before corruption kills Nigeria. Till date, none of the actors in the Budget padding scandal i.e Honorable Abdulmumin Jibrin (former Chairman of House Committee on Appropriation), Honorable Yakubu Dogara (Speaker), Honorable Lasun Yusuff (Deputy Speaker), Honorable Ado Doguwa (Chief Whip) and Honorable Leo Ogor(Minority Leader) among others, who have been directly fingered as perpetrators of the Budget fraud has been invited, investigated or prosecuted over this crime against law abiding tax payers and working people of Nigeria. 

If you could remember that 40 billion was alleged to have been padded for selfish reason and distributed as follows:

•      Hon.Dogara Yakubu got 3billion naira worth of projects in his constituency

•      Hon. Dogara Yakubu diverted Federal water project meant for people of Bauchi to his Farm in Nasarawa state

•      Ho. Yusuf Lasun (Deputy Speaker) got 2.5billion naira worth for his constituency

•      Hon Ado Doguwa got 1.8billion naira worth of projects for his constituency

•      Hon.Leo Ogor got 1.4billion naira worth for his constituency

•      Hon. Abudulmumuni Jibrin got 4.3billion naira worth for his constituency

•      Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila got 1.8billion naira for his own constituency

•      Hon Bala Jibril (Deputy Leader) got 1.5billion naira for his constituency

•      Hon Pally Iriase got 1.5billion for his constituency

•      Hon. Chukwuka Onyema(Deputy Minority Leader) got 1.4billion naira

•      Hon Binta Bello (Deputy Minority Whip) got 1.4billion naira

While the rest goes to loyalist of Speaker Dogarain the house.

However, Hon Jibrin yesterday confessed for getting 650 million naira in a questionable office maintenance allowance while other 10 principal officers shared more than N10 billion in fraudulent proceeds. The 10 principal officers who allegedly received billions of naira in running cost allowance include the Speaker of the House, YakubuDogara, who allegedly got the largest share of N1.5 billion, Deputy Speaker, Yusuf Lasun, who got N800 million. Others on the list are; Majority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, N1.2 billion; his deputy, Buba Jibril, N1.2 billion; House Whip, Alhassan Doguwa, N1.2 billion; and his deputy, Pally Iriase, N700 million. The rest are Minority Leader, Leo Ogor, N1.2 billion, his deputy, Chukwuka Onyema: N800 million, Minority Whip, Yakubu Barde, N700 million and his deputy, BintaBello, N700 million.

Sir, we are not surprised by the arrogance of these persons, who are hiding under an un-existing legislative immunity to avoid answering the various questions that are being asked by Nigerians and the Civil Society community over the Budget Padding allegations. It is expected that these corrupt elements who have had their hands soiled and tainted will obviously feel the intensity of the anti-corruption war and definitely fight back by all legitimate and illegitimate means possible under any subterfuge in order to frustrate the ethical revolution to sanitize governance in Nigeria. 

Sir, whatever become the consequences of the actions of these lawmakers, will definitely become a burden on the average Nigerian to bear. Hence, our opposition to the attempt by some persons to regards the issues generated by the Budget padding scandal as a family affair or House of Representatives matter is very unfortunate, this a Nigerian matter and they should be treated as economy saboteurs. 

This is neither a family nor party affairs, as issues that borders on the commonwealth of the Nigerian people is involve and therefore cannot be treated as an ordinary House matter. 

We hereby urge your noble Commission, to do the needful, by ensuring that everyone involved in the budget padding scandal is made to face the full wrath of the law irrespective of their position or party affiliation. 

Meanwhile, having realized the volume of corruption that the National Assembly have converted the budget making process into, over the years, we are appealing to your commission to embark on a holistic approach to investigate previous allocation of the commonwealth under the guise of Constituency projects by ensuring that every contracts appropriated for and awarded by the National Assembly in the past are duly investigated.

No good governance can be guaranteed or sustained in a situation of national moral epidemic when all institutions of government have been morally destroyed due to corruption. It will be a disservice to the nation and to us, Nigerians, as victims of corruption to leave the perpetrators of this act of corruption untouched, even in the face of glaring evidences of their involvements.

While believing in the commitment of the commission under your leadership to rescue Nigeria from the hands of these corrupt elements, we urge you to consider a timely response and action to our noble request as we want to assure you of our support and solidarity always. 

Thanking you in anticipation of your good tidings.

Yours in service to motherland.

 

For: The Coalition

Comrade Tosin Adeyanju                            Comrade Femi Lawson

ED, Conscience Nigeria                      ED, Center for Public Accountability 

 

Cc: President, Federal Republic of Nigeria

Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice

Yakubu Dogara

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