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Saturday, September 24, 2016

Budget padding: Search your conscience before you destroy the House- Jubrin tells Dogara

As the budget padding scandal continues to rock the House of Representatives, sacked Chairman of the House committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin, has written a letter to the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, asking him to search his conscience and step down from office for investigation before he destroys the House of Representatives. Read the letter below...

September 22, 2016
Hon Yakubu Dogara
The Speaker,
House of Representatives,
National Assembly,
Dear Mr. Speaker,
I write you this letter to express the deep agony and pains that overwhelmed me when I watched a person with soiled reputation preside over the House sitting on Wednesday.
It was another bout of mental torment when I watched you taking advantage of the office of the Speaker and publicity inherent to vomit all sort of lies in a desperate bid to attract public sympathy, paint me in bad light and use the institution of the House to cover the fraud you perpetrated in the 2016 budget and other monumental corrupt practices.
It is therefore no surprise that rather than address the allegations of budget fraud and corruption I specifically leveled against you, 3 Principal officers and a few other members (not the entire House), and open it up for discussion if you have nothing to hide, you embarked on a wild goose chase.
Every right-thinking person knows that you were acting a shameful script by referring the matter to the Ethics Committee so that you can conveniently be a judge in your own case. You didn't even refer the allegations against you to the Ethics Committee but rather chose to refer a so-called "breach of privilege of members" in a clear attempt to force members to carry your cross through a well-orchestrated blackmail.
To hide a lie, a saying goes, a thousand more lies are needed. Contrary to what you said in your speech, where you recklessly quoted TS Elliot, your so called maturity and silence during the last two months were simply because you are guilty as charged. And you know too well you are!
In any case, you are aware the privilege of a member does not accord him or her immunity to being exposed if involved in corrupt practices. And if exposing budget fraud and corruption amounts to misconduct, then prepare for even the worst misconduct in the next few days.
You have successfully dragged 360 members into an offense committed by you and a few others. In the next few days, members will have to decide whether they are with you or with millions of conscientious Nigerians. No action that symbolizes corruption than standing with an embodiment of corruption.
Mr Speaker, I was taken aback when I heard on good authority that you were boasting that Nigerians will soon forget, and I will be left alone. Smiling sheepishly, my mind made an instant flashback, reflecting the struggle and sacrifice we made to make you what you are today. I then wondered how you forget the stuff I am made of and the courage of my conviction so easily. I conclude you underestimated how resolute I could be to champion a cause I believe in or stay on the side of the truth. My conscience is the guiding torch of behavior, you need to be reminded.
Mr Speaker, it was a shameless act to behold seeing you hitting the gavel and asking that investigation of such weighty allegations be conducted and report submitted back to you within one week. Just imagine that after the petitions I submitted against you, Mr President directed the anti graft agencies to conduct investigation and submit report within one week. You would have been shouting foul play all over. Even with the civilized approach of the anti-graft agencies you still went on air to say they cannot investigate or prosecute you. You have refused to appear before the anti-graft agencies despite pressure from the general public for you to go and clear your name.
Mr. Speaker, it is dismaying to note that the House is already sitting on a keg of gunpowder. Let's see if history will repeat itself or history will be made. In any case, if we look at the history of the House, where are the accused and where are the accusers today? Who laughed last? Once you stick to the truth, God will be with you! You might force your illegal suspension on me, but I care less because I have optimism that most of you will go to jail.
In your speech, you called on the Government to take responsibility for the recession. It is leaders like you who steal public money front, back and center and abuse their offices that destroyed our economy and brought us down to ground zero that should take responsibility.
Your call on Mr President to address a joint sitting is a desperate bid to use the unblemished reputation of Mr President to shore up your battered reputation and credibility. I cannot make decision for the President, but If I were the President, I will simply relate with you with a long spoon because of the irritating and stinking reputation you have earned.
You know very well that while you presided over the House on Wednesday, most Nigerians and those of us that didn't put on the#iStandWithCorruption mufflers didn't see a Speaker in you. We saw a fraudster, a rogue and a criminal who has become a disgrace to the institution of the House. Why are you afraid to open up the matter for discussion? Why do you find it too much a sacrifice for the country to step down and allow for a free and fair investigation to save the image of the House? It is clear you will do anything to hold on to power even on the alter of blackmailing your colleagues. It will be tragic if the House condones a situation where some few corrupt members will commit offense, and then use the institution of the House as a shield to evade justice. This is the script you are trying to implement. I assure you we will do everything within the precinct of our powers so that the corrupt members like you will be fished out and dealt with to preserve the sanctity of the institution.
On a final note, I have the following posers for you: Did you consult your colleagues when you and the 3 other principal officers stole our 40 billion? Or when you diverted federal governments projects to your farm? Who did you consult when you inserted fraudulent projects worth about 20billion naira into the budget? Didn't you and members of your cabal go solo when you inserted about 2000 projects worth 284 billion naira into the budget, or when you manipulated the house rules and inserted draconian clauses, a House rule you continue to use despite the fact that it is a subject of litigation? What about the way you abused trust in the 2015 SDG? Or how you tried to force me to fraudulently insert projects worth about 30 billion naira in the budget? Can you explain how you absconded with 20% of inputs meant for the House after the harmonization? How about cutting a chunk off members' emoluments for rent of houses and guest houses? Why did you refuse to circulate copies of the internal budget of the House? How about mismanaging finances of the House through questionable procurements? How about trying to use running cost of members for a fraudulent mortgage and many more?
Mr Speaker these are the allegations against you. All members of the House are aware that I have raised these allegations, and whether they act on it or not Nigerians are watching. But what remains clear is that you have become a lameduck Speaker who is vulnerable and cannot walk with his head high. Do you expect all these allegations to be swept under the carpet? You have neither attempted nor addressed these allegations but you move around freely and try to keep a bold face. Do you really love this country? Do you really love the House or care about its image? Search your conscience, make a soul-searching and do the right thing by stepping down with the 3 others to allow for a free, fair and unbiased investigation in collaboration with the ongoing external investigation.
The House is an institution that always stand for justice, equity and fairness. How damaging will it be when the House can not deal with issues of internal corruption in a transparent manner? With a situation like this and moreso with a rotten head, who do you expect to take the House serious? How do you oversight or investigate others? You have made the House a laughing stock. You think Nigerians are fools? Try for once to look beyond the muffler-adorning members and listen to the voices of 200 million Nigerians. If you succeed in blackmailing your colleagues, you cannot blackmail Nigerians. Let's not take the patience of Nigerians for granted.
When Francis Fukuyama wrote the book The End of History and the Last Man in 1992, he was not saying the world has come to an end but simply indicating the emergence of the last and final world order. What happened yesterday on the floor of the House was just the end of another beginning. The emergence of a struggle to establish a new order in the House of Representatives that will expose and deal with all forms of corruption both systemic and individual.
Mr Speaker, this struggle is like the rising sun, it is unstoppable. There is nothing you can do on earth to stop it. No amount of lobbying, legislative antics or blackmail of members of the House, Senate, Executive arm or individuals outside the House can help you and your cabal of few corrupt members. The day of reckoning is so close.
We all know you blackmailed members to get support and wear mufflers in a show of shame to celebrate you due to the abundance of systemic corruption (which people like you instituted) in the House that makes many members vulnerable and dependent. To you it was a "smart" move. You just want the entire House to go down with you because you know I will pull the trigger. It is gladdening that some courageous members defied your blackmail and rose to the occasion. History will be kind to them.
History will remember you as the Speaker who brought down and endanger the reputation of the House through budget fraud and monumental corruption. The House must embrace reforms. It is a reform you have lost the moral ground to superintend. How on earth a person like you who committed the biggest budget fraud in the history of the House will supervise budget reforms? It is time you woke up from your dream and embrace reality. The time has come, Whether you like it or not, justice will be served on you, Lasun, Doguwa and Ogor.
God bless Nigeria.
Yours in service to the nation,
Hon Abdulmumin Jibrin PhD MBA
Kiru-Bebeji Federal Constituency

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