By Gloria Emmanuel Embattled former chairman of the Appropriation Committee, Abdulmumin Jibrin has accused nine members of the committee of collecting $20, 000 each from Speaker Yakubu Dogara to lie against him.
The Deputy Chairman of the committee, Chris Azubogu, led eight other members to address a press conference on Friday, during which he said that Jibrin did not carry other members of the committee along.
But responding, Jibrin wondered why only nine out of the 40-member committee attended the press conference, saying his deputy, Azubogu, had a history of being diabolical.
A statenent personally issued by Jibrin reads further:
“To prove my innocence, I have resolved that I will respond to any accusation or allegation leveled against me, unlike the corrupt Speaker Dogara, who rather than respond to the 25 allegations I leveled against him and others, has resorted to use legal gimmicks to stall the allegations.
“Mr Speaker, you cannot sweep such hefty allegations under the carpet. You think Nigerians are not watching?
“First, only 9 out of the 40 appropriation committee members agreed to participate in such a dishonorable press conference after shamelessly collecting $20,000 each distributed to them two days ago at the Speaker’s residence by his Deputy Chief of staff Hon CID Maduabum.
“My same Deputy Hon Chris Azubogu (you will remember his history with Hon Hembe in the 7th Assembly) who was used to organize the press conference was clearly on camera almost crying at the press conference where I announced my resignation. “It took a couple of minutes before I could calm him down, get him seated for me to commence the event. See attached documents showing his greedy demands for insertions 111 projects into the budget which I turned down.
“You can imagine the pressure I went through. The 9 of them are a disgrace to their constituents.
“On the lies that I never conferred with committee members or excluded them, here is the fact. The members of appropriation committee were fully carried along except those periods that the Quartet of Speaker Dogara and others took away the entire secretariat from me.
“The 40 members of the appropriation committee are grouped into sub-committees and allocated a number of standing committees to supervise.
“Their role is so important such that they must first agree with the report of the various standing committees they supervised before the report of such committees are considered, deliberated and adopted by the appropriation committee.
“The implication of that process is that every member participated and endorsed the reports. God so kind, the entire session was recorded publicly.
“I will release the videos so that my Hon colleagues and the general public will see videos of appropriation members in action. And the 9 members of the appropriation committee with short memory will be reminded.
“Again they tried to drag the entire house and body of principal officers into this matter. I have stated categorically clear several times that my allegations are not against the House as an institution or the entire body of principal officers but specifically on Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Deputy Speaker Yusuf Lasun, Whip Alhassan Doguwa and Minority Leader Leo Ogor and few other members.
“The mother of all contradiction, is when you said no breach was committed so there must not be any external probe but internal. So if there has been no breach what so ever in the budget process, why are you accusing me of committing so many offence in that regard? And what do you intend to probe internally?
“I urge you all to join hands and do the Honourable thing by asking Speaker Yakubu Dogara and the 3 other principal officers to reconvene the House and step down with immediate effect to face prosecution.
“They have all lost the moral grounds to call themselves presiding and principal officers of the House. The more they cling on to power, the further the image of the House will be battered.”