Jibrin Insists Speaker Dogara, House Leadership Corrupt Ahead Of NASS Resumption
The embattled former chairman of House Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin, has written a letter to members of the House of Representatives, reiterating his call for the resignation of Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Deputy Speaker Yusuf Lasun, Whip Alhassan Doguwa and Minority Leader Leo Ogor.
Mr. Jibrin said their resignation would pave way for a Speaker pro tempore as Speaker Dogara and the 3 others cannot be judge in their own case.
The 17-page letter, addressed to each member of the House and personally signed by Hon Jibrin, explained to his colleagues why he had to write them ahead of resumption and why he opted to engage the press as a last resort during the recess.
He went further to give his colleagues a comprehensive background of the crisis, details of the allegations and made recommendations on way forward.
Hon Jibrin insisted that Speaker Dogara and the 3 other Principal officers committed monumental fraud and abuse of their offices and public trust.
He cautioned his colleagues that anything short of asking the Speaker and others to resign, the House will become a laughing stock in the eyes of the public. He advised his colleagues to institute a comprehensive investigation in collaboration with the anti-graft agencies who have commenced investigation on the matter and embark on a wide-ranging internal reforms.
He called on his colleagues to be vigilant not to allow the Speaker and few others drag the House as an institution into an offense they committed.
He concluded that, if the House can not deal decisively with allegations of corruption within it and ensure that justice is served irrespective of who is involved, it would have lost the moral ground to deal with corruption outside the house which constitute an important part of its responsibility.
Below is the full text of the letter:
September 14th 2016
ALLEGATIONS OF BUDGET FRAUD AND CORRUPTION AGAINST SPEAKER YAKUBU DOGARA, DEPUTY SPEAKER YUSUF LASUN, HOUSE WHIP ALHASSAN DOGUWA AND MINORITY LEADER LEO OGOR: THIS IS A LITMUS TEST AND DEFINING MOMENT FOR THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AS THE WHOLE COUNTRY IS WATCHING
Let me start by welcoming you back from our yearly recess and also express my appreciation to many of you that called me or sent text messages to show support, concern, seek explanation or clarification, offered advice or even those that expressed anger and displeasure over the events before and what followed my resignation or “sack” as Chairman House Committee on Appropriation and the allegations of monumental fraud, corruption, gross abuse of office and trust I leveled against Speaker Dogara, Lasun, Doguwa and Ogor.
I write to you my Hon Colleague as a representative of the people of your constituency and Nigeria as a whole for four very important reasons; ( I crave your indulgence to give me fair hearing and place your self in my situation while you read this letter)
1- To explain to you why I had to release several statements and grant interviews to the media on the allegations I raised against Speaker Dogara and others during our recess
2-To give a background of the current crisis in the House (that is now fully in the public domain) as a result of the allegations of monumental fraud and abuse of office I levelled against Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Deputy Speaker Yusuf Lasun, Whip Alhassan Doguwa and Minority Leader Leo Ogor.
3-To furnish you with the details of the allegations against Mr Speaker and others so that urgent and decisive steps can be taken.
4-To provide urgent recommendation and way forward on this matter of urgent national importance (indeed the most urgent facing the House at the moment) before this crisis causes irreparable damage to the institution of the House of Representatives.
EXPLANATION FOR MEDIA ENGAGEMENTS
You will recall that on Wednesday the 20th of July 2016, the Speaker in Plenary announced that despite the fact that I approached him and notified him of my decision to resign as Chairman Appropriation Committee of the House, they had already taken a decision to relieve me of the appointment. He went further to add that it was in line with his promise to sanitize the budget process of the House. That clearly implied that I was relieved for budget offense, and by inference the only culprit in the 360-member House! The Speaker was economical with the truth and was trying to suppress the biggest corruption, fraud and gross abuse of office in the history of the House perpetrated by himself and a few others. Speaker Dogara’s statement was a complete misrepresentation of the facts, tissues of lies, wilful mischief and calculated attempt to bring my name to disrepute and lower my estimation in the eyes of the public. The whole drama was largely a red herring to divert public attention from the actual “goats” and go for a scapegoat.
A day after Speaker Dogara’s statement, the media was awash with the story that I was sacked for “budget padding” and related allegations. The Speaker maintained a silent approval. Even before then, it was a public knowledge in the House that I was accused of all manner of budget offenses that I knew nothing about. As I noted earlier, they were all lies, figment of the authors’ imagination and an attempt to use me as a scapegoat to cover up the monumental fraud committed by the quartet of Speaker Dogara, Lasun, Doguwa and Ogor in the 2016 budget. It is this QUARTET that launched the spread of falsehood against me in the House and effectively block me from briefing members and craftily ensured I did not attend the last executive session.
The truth of the matter is that I stood against corruption. I stood against budget fraud. The Speaker and the 3 Principal Officers saw me as a stumbling block to a free flow of corruption and budget fraud. They desperately wanted me out. That is why despite the fact that I told him of my decision to resign, from his pronouncement, he had wished he fired me. I have stated repeatedly that I did nothing wrong in the 2016 budget, I did not abuse my office or corruptly enrich myself in the 5 years I have been in the House. I have stated repeatedly that anybody that has an allegation against me in that regard should feel free and bring it up.
The pronouncement of my questionable “sack” on the floor was immediately followed by a heavy campaign of calumny in the media spreading falsehood against my person and family sponsored by Speaker Dogara and in several instances using the House spokesperson and later his spokesman until some patriotic members called the House spokesperson to order. But that was a joke compared to what followed after the close of session on Thursday, July 21, 2016. The plan is to execute my “sack” just before the recess so that by the time we return I would have been buried and the issue forgotten. I promised Mr Speaker on July 21st that this issue will never be swept under the carpet. I told him that we are closing for recess with it and we shall commence the next session with this issue. This was the last option they had after every attempt to find something to nail me failed. It is a known fact that I am a very blunt person by nature. I don’t know how to pretend. I don’t do eye service neither will I ever be a sycophant. I don’t give returns. I just do my job faithfully with dedication. My offence was asserting my independence and insisting that we do the right thing at all times and expose corruption.
The Speaker was fully aware of my innocence in the whole 2016 budget saga and knew all about the behind-the-scene dirty game orchestrated by himself and his gang of few corrupt members – and that made him apprehensive. He was scared of his shadows. He and his co-travelers, especially the 3 other Principal Officers, knew sooner or later I will expose them. They recruited some members of their cabal to use some elements of the Nigeria Police to kidnap, harass, blackmail and intimidate me into silence. They went ahead to procure an arrest warrant and a charge was prepared to arrest and arraign me immediately I arrive home on 21st July on the grounds of padding of 2016 budget. The elements used to act on this script in the police, perhaps out of desperation, dropped a copy of the warrant at my house which I still have in my possession as exhibit.
After the close of session on 21st of July, my orderly was nowhere to be found. He was arrested, his phone seized and locked up by the police allegedly on the instruction of an ACP in charge of National Assembly. The plan was for him to lead them to me when they want to strike. Unfortunately for them, I left for Kano same day. Later at the wee hours of the night, a team of police stormed my house at Maitama. They laid siege to house, blocking entrance and exit, shouting that they wanted budget documents. They forced themselves into my House and embarrassed my entire family with a nursing mother and a seven month old baby that cried all night.
I was worried, confused and embarrassed as I carefully tried to find out what was going on. I later gathered on good authority that the game plan was to arrest me, dump me in police net and arraign me while heavy media propaganda would be carried out to mislead the public that I have been sacked and police have picked me up as a culprit in 2016 budget. Whenever I am released, an irreparable damage would have been done to my person that will stick for life and also create credibility problem for whatever I will say when I start exposing the fraud they perpetrated in the 2016 budget. Since July 22 when the police laid siege to my house and mounted a patrol vehicle, I was deprived of seeing my family. I only reunited with my family 9 days later! What crime did I commit to warrant such treatment? Where have I wronged Speaker Dogara and his wicked cabal? That is Yakubu Dogara for you. A so-called man of God! A bloody dummy he sells to the public. As we say in Hausa, Dogara is the archetype of the proverbial vulture masquerading with a guinea fowl head.
It was after the police laid siege outside my house and knowing the illegal and wicked motive behind such action, I quickly contacted my lawyers to file a case in court restraining the police from arresting me or go to court and show cause why they should. At this point, the matter was already attracting media attention. When Sahara Reporters posted pictures of the police van in front of my house, the matter went viral. There was a massive outcry across the country for the truth to be told. Two months of recess was too long to keep Nigerians waiting on such matter of urgent importance. I was left with no choice than to speak out to save the image of the institution. Since Speaker Dogara and the 3 other Principal Officers failed to respond to the allegations I raised they desperately tried to drag the entire House into the matter to give the public the impression that the entire House is the accused. I had to come out to debunk that insinuation. I did emphasize categorically clear that accusations are against the quartet of Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Deputy Speaker Yusuf Lasun, House Whip Alhassan Doguwa and Minority Leader Leo Ogor not the Honourable House as an institution. I relied on the doctrine of necessity to speak out and continue to speak so that the public will understand that the mess in the House is perpetrated by Speaker Dogara and a few others.
Subsequently, I gave my lawyers instruction to submit petitions on the budget fraud and other allegations of corruption against Speaker Dogara and others to the anti-corruption agencies to investigate and prosecute them. I also sought protection from the security agencies. I have every reason to be worried after the leader of the corrupt Speaker Dogara Cabal, Hon Herma Hembe threatened my life and the Speaker ignored my complaint and even took offense that I reported the matter to the police and other security agencies. The Hembe of this world with questionable background calls the shots in the Dogara kitchen cabinet. You can now understand the “quality” of people Speaker Dogara feels at home with. Hon Hembe threatens and talks down members and gets away with it. Surprisingly, Hembe has SUDDENLY begun living an expensive lifestyle. These are people who came into the House of Representatives with nothing! Lately, a former influential principal officer of the House complained bitterly that it is only Dogara that will hand such a committee as FCT to a person like Hon Herma Hembe who mysteriously escaped jail in the 7th Assembly. Herma Hembe and his corrupt gang represent the dark history of the House and with a proper background check, people like Herma Hembe will never have found their way into the House of Representatives in the first place. They kept running from pillar to post looking for evidence in their wild dream to nail me.
BACKGROUND OF THE CURRENT CRISIS
Hon Colleague, let me re-emphasize that I did nothing wrong. I committed no offense. I have never abused my office nor corruptly enrich myself in the 5years I have spent in the House. No one has ever accused me of corruption in the House. My offense has been my refusal to be used as conduit to facilitate free flow of corruption in the House of Representatives. I came under severe pressure during the budget period to break procedures and commit fraudulent acts. But when they could not use me, the Speaker connived with few committee chairmen and opened a bazaar of corrupt insertions into the budget. I complained to the Speaker but he took no action only for me to discover later that he, his deputy, Whip and Minority Leader were indeed the ring leaders of that corrupt cabal in the House. All they wanted was to do away with me, considered the obstacle. The Speaker and the 3 others were in the thick of the plot. The only time they call on me was when they needed someone on television. I was blackmailed that it is my job as Appropriation Committee Chairman to defend everything about the budget whether I agree with it or not.
I did my work as Appropriation Committee Chairman diligently. I followed all the laws and procedures. I neither excluded my Committee nor anybody. I have all the documents and video recordings of proceedings intact, especially the role played by my Appropriation Committee members as sub-committees who endorsed reports of standing committees before our admission.
Dear colleague, you may recall that the crisis started when the President returned the budget. I was invited to a meeting of body of Principal officers, where the speaker shamelessly denied any knowledge about the insertions. He knew very well that he and the 3 other Principal Officers connived with some Committee Chairmen – about 10 of them – to commit the fraud. By then, I could not take the pressure anymore from Nigerians and my other colleagues who thought I wrote the budget alone while the Speaker, the 3 other Principal Officers and the Committee Chairmen involved wickedly kept quiet.
The question here is, is it Hon Abdulmumin that introduced 2,000 projects worth N284billion into the budget? The answer is capital NO! But I quietly bore the pain and abuses from all over the country and continued to defend the committees input as a show of loyalty to the institution I represent and respect. I defended the House body, heart and soul during the 2016 budget in reverence to the institution and respect for many great minds and honest Nigerians in the House. Apart from Chairman Agriculture Hon Mongunu (a man of honour) who owned up and explained his inputs to the satisfaction of members at the only executive session I was allowed to attend, the few chairmen who loaded the budget with fraudulent insertions without the knowledge of their committee members kept quiet and watched me bashed from every angle by angry Members and Nigerians. I told the meeting clearly that they were the culprit.
The meeting became so tensed that Lasun and Ogor wanted to exchange blows with me. I remained calm in the face of that provocation, and to the God Almighty that I worship, I apologized to them. I was overwhelmed but I knew I could not continue to cover up anything again. It was at that meeting that they requested me not to tell my colleagues at the executive session that the four of them stole N40billion out of the 100 billion meant for constituency projects. I told them clearly I could not.
We then moved into the executive session. Members were very angry with me. They have every reason to be because they do not have full information of what transpired. I was called upon to address the session. I prayed quietly and stepped forward.
My dear colleague, you will recall members asking me to explain cuts across statutory budgets of MDA’s. I didn’t do the cuts, the Speaker knew the answer but kept quiet. Members also asked about the insertions when all the culprits (about 10 committee Chairmen and the Speaker) were seated there but the Speaker kept quite again. Members also asked about our missing N40billion out of the 100billion, the Speaker kept quiet. At that point, I told the session that the Speaker and the 3 other Principal Officers took the money and shared it to themselves and few others. Expectedly, the session went ballistic! I was scared to say more than that. After that meeting, the Speaker and the 3 other Principal Officers became even angrier at me. They were determined to embarrass and disgrace me using every means possible. They just wanted me out of out of the job. In an arrangement strange to parliamentary practice, they quickly set up a harmonization committee and appointed one of them, the Deputy Speaker, Lasun, as Chairman – all in a bid to send a message to members and the public that there was no more confidence in me and I was the culprit. That provided a more comfortable avenue to continue their fraud and poisonous insertion in the budget. Deputy Speaker Lasun did a “great” job. He indeed FANTASTICALLY loaded the budget with fraudulent insertions for the QUARTET aided and abetted by Speaker Dogara. That was how Speaker Dogara and his Deputy Lasun, Whip Doguwa and Minority Leader Leo Ogor inserted additional fraudulent projects worth about 20 billion naira into the budget.
In protest that my secretariat was taken away from me on two occasions for such insertions to be made on the instruction of Speaker Dogara, I refused to sign the harmonized version. A compromise was brokered by Sen Danjuma Goje that the Deputy Speaker who headed the harmonization should also sign. He was practically forced to sign. It was that incident the Speaker relied on to claim that it was to salvage the budget process. But one question the 360 Members should ask Speaker Dogara is that what miracle happened at one such occasion that they took my secretariat which saw all inputs of the house under Agriculture removed and at the same day and time all inputs under Water Resources were restored? What a double standard! Something sinister happened. My dear colleague, it was a clear case of commercial interest, budget fraud!
After the budget was signed into law, the QUARTET resumed their hunting for Hon Jibrin. They went everywhere in search of something to nail me, but could not find any. They were frustrated but remained desperate. At that point, I was already fed up but I was sure I will stand up to them and expose them. It is disgusting to see how members like Leo Ogor and some one like Alhassan Doguwa with poor up bringing treat their colleagues like school boys. The immunity for Principal Officers debate gave me a chance to prove to them that enough is enough. With what I know, I was convinced they wanted immunity for their selfish purpose not in the interest of the institution. Just imagine with all these fraud they perpetrated if they had immunity? At that point, I had made up my mind to leave. The whole environment was filthy. The smell of corruption was all over Speaker Dogara. It is a fact that he and his gang of few other members like Hon Herma Hembe were very corrupt – front, back, left, right and center. He isolated himself with a very few small-minded rogues in the House. I informed the Speaker on three occasions that I want to leave but he always replied me that he would call me later so we could discuss. On Wednesday the 20th July I went up to him and told him I will announce my resignation if he doesn’t. He still said to me let’s meet at 10pm in the night. They just wanted to ensure I was disgraced out of office.
My resignation freed me. It provided me an ample opportunity to open up on the mess they perpetrated in the budget and corruption in the House in order to force reforms that will restore the battered image of the House. Hon Colleague, believe me or not, this is what I have always wished and prayed for an opportunity to do. Secondly, it is important to say my side of the story so that you will know I committed no offense. I was worried about my image. I have a family and children. The best I can bequeath to them is a good name. As I explained earlier, I therefore set out and released dozens of allegations against the Speaker and others. Up till today, they have not responded to any of the allegations. The Speaker said you ( Hon members) will come back after recess and respond on his behalf as if you were part of the fraud. He wants to drag you all and the House into the matter as a cover. Let him carry his cross! In contrast, I have responded to all the allegations they raised against me which largely bordered on padding and later immaturity, betrayal and so on. All my responses are in the public glare.
I proceeded to submit petitions based on the allegations to the EFCC, ICPC, DSS and the NPF for investigation and prosecution. While I have attended several meetings with these agencies to give insight into the allegations, provided documents and codes on how to crack these kinds of corrupt cases and others in the House, they on the other hand continued to evade the anti-corruption agencies. They have used the period to intensify lobby in high places for a safe landing, hurriedly cleaned up the mess on their desks, shared money to some members for signature of confidence vote ( I dare say money was distributed to members to sign the vote of confidence form), offered incentives to Transparency and Integrity groups which the groups rejected, embarked on an expensive media campaign to launder the image of the Speaker and attack my person and worst of all Speaker Dogara sponsored blackmail to drag the entire House as an institution, the Executive, Senate and highly placed individuals into this matter with cheap lies that the budget fraud allegations, if dealt with decisively will bring down the whole country. What a blackmail against the entire country! We must no longer condone a situation where some few corrupt members will commit offense then use the institution of the House as a shield to evade justice. We must fish them out and ensure justice is served. The institution will remain.
When Mr Speaker and his cohorts realized that I was out for a real show, having submitted my petition and documents to the anti-graft agencies – a move that clearly shows my innocence – he made a disgraceful about-turn. He announced to the whole world that padding (budget fraud) is not an offense. Few days later, he boasted that the anti-graft agencies have no power to investigate or prosecute him and few other members involved in the budget fraud, that is why he has shunned all their invitations. There was uproar all over the country against Speaker Dogara. Yet, in another shameful and disgraceful u-turn, he said in another statement that he was misunderstood. And added that, no money was lost during the appropriation exercise. But at the same time all of these are offences if the accused is Hon Abdulmumin Jibrin. What a shame! The same Speaker who claimed he “sacked” me for budget offences?
Hon Colleague, all the statements of Mr Speaker during the last few weeks have clearly proved my innocence. I have decided to find appropriate constitutional and legal means to get the Speaker and his co-travelers to account for the damage to my name and person and the trouble he has caused me and my family. Yes, he has the powers to remove a committee chairman but it must be done with a huge sense of justice, fairness and responsibility. I have taken my time to explain this so that you will have a proper context of this crisis. Let me reiterate my position that the powers of appropriation can be abused or used in an improper way to commit fraud. If that happens, it can be prosecuted under our laws. There is even more grounds for prosecution when such bill becomes an act. In the case of 2016 budget, Speaker Dogara, the 3 other Principal Officers used appropriation powers to commit fraud. The most patriotic thing we MUST all do is to insist that Speaker Dogara and the 3 other Principal Officers step down from their offices and hand them over to the anti-graft agencies for prosecution. Anything short of this, will make us a disgrace and laughing stock in the eyes of Nigerians and the world as we will continue to parade some fraudsters as presiding and part of our body of principal officers. Who will take us serious if we can not deal decisively with allegations of corruption within the house, we would have lost the moral ground to deal with corruption outside the house which constitute an important part of our responsibility.
I have pledged maximum cooperation to the anti-corruption agencies and I will provide them with guide and assistance on how to unravel all these crimes and theft of our commonwealth. Hon Colleague, most of you do not have an idea of the monumental fraud committed by just about 10 Committee Chairmen out of the 96 standing Committee using our names. I know most of you are innocent of this budget crime that is why we must unite to fish out the few rogues in our midst and ensure that justice is served on them. The institution will remain intact. It is the corrupt individuals that must be made to face the laws. We must not allow them to hide under the institution. How can someone explain how Speaker Dogara has N16 billion in his constituency in Bauchi while another member’s constituency from Bauchi has just N20 million? Where is fairness? Where is justice? Has the Speaker by this action not abused trust? And we want to pretend that all is well?
Let me give you a practical example of how the powers of appropriation are used to commit fraud. For instance, let’s say an item in a budget proposed by the Executive under Ministry of Power for the purchase of a transformer cost N2million and same amount was budgeted. If the Chairman House Committee on Power, because he has the “powers” to appropriate, decides to add N3million to jack up the allocation to N5million when it is a public knowledge that the transformer cannot cost more than 2million naira, what do you call that? That essentially means APPROPRIATION FRAUD! And such a chairman is a FRAUDSTER, a common criminal. On the other hand, let’s say he decides to irrationally reduce the amount to 500,000 thousand naira knowing full well that the said amount cannot buy the transformer, what do you call that? APPROPRIATION SABOTAGE and such a chairman is a SABOTEUR. And let’s say he just decided to take the entire N2million away, the question is where has he taken it to? Let’s follow up, we might discover something shocking. I have no apology for saying this! Little by little, I will be providing more in-depth details.
My Hon Colleague, some of you that spoke to me during the recess expressed your displeasure on why I waited till now to open up. So much was happening behind the scene. I fought the battle of my life to raise these issues internally and get Mr Speaker to address them to no avail. I pushed so hard that I got frustrated and depressed. All my attempts met brick walls. That was why some members were always raising their voice against me because they do not have the facts. I later on realized that the Speaker enjoyed that so much and colluded with his cabal to dump everything on me. I also have evidence to show my internal struggles. In any case, under circumstances like this, and for young people like us that are lucky to have accelerated career growth, the system scares you from becoming a whistle blower. They will tell you that if you do such, nobody will trust you or have confidence in you again. They will scare you that it is not good for your image and it will affect your career progress. Many young people in different sectors are faced with such frustrating situation. Even at the moment, if I take the advice of some people, I will get deeply scared and just keep quiet, so that I can grow career-wise. My usual response to them is that, isn’t that selfish? Your only luck will be if a trigger occurs then you open up. This is one such trigger! In any case, I would have opened up anyway. I have written so much about these issues and more on the House in my memoir, LIFE AT 40, posted on my Facebook fan page.
Some of you also accused me of keeping quiet while it was good and now I am talking because things have gone sour. Many members of the House will be shocked to know that there has NEVER been good times between myself and Speaker Dogara. It took few weeks after his election as Speaker for me to realize I never really knew him well. I was hasty to judge him by his innocent looking personality. Who will I run to after playing a leading role in his election and defying every wise counsel not to support him? When you see a house you sacrificed everything to build is falling apart and the driver believes he is firmly in charge because he had 8-vote advantage, you are left with no choice than to tie your seat belt for obvious eventuality. I quietly stewed in my own juice.
Well, Speaker Dogara and I practically disagreed on everything. From when he started conducting himself like a lord, wanting everybody around him to just say yes sir and go, shutting and looking down on his colleagues, playing double game between the Executive and Legislature, drafting a new draconian house rule and senselessly splitting the committees and raising the number to 96. The appointment of committee chairmen, Chairmanship of NILS, issues of bills and allotment of sponsors, chairmanship of budget consultative committee, budget process and house inputs, the PIB, his divide and rule approach with dangerous religious and ethnic dimension and refusal to allow for full integration after the election that gave him a very narrow victory, his frequent dealings with head of MDAs as if he is a committee chairman and so many other issues. In all of these issues, there is none that has not remained controversial till date.
Alas! Speaker Dogara was already power drunk and completely hijacked and surrounded himself with a small, arrogant, corrupt, mediocre, avaricious, vindictive, jealous, self-serving, boisterous, gormandizing small minds and cabal of sycophants who have already done an irreparable damage to his person and office. Speaker Dogara has completely derailed, remained clueless and led the House into the biggest scandal it has ever experienced. He has failed to live above the fog in public duty and private thinking, a direct opposite of what my favorite American Poet Josiah Gilbet Holland prayed Lord to grant us in leaders.
DETAILS OF ALLEGATIONS
My Hon Colleague, the actions of Speaker Dogara, Lasun, Doguwa and Ogor is a clear and glaring case of fraud, abuse of office and trust, embezzlement and monumental corruption. I have decided to capture properly the allegations I leveled against the Speaker and others so that you will understand the gravity of the matter at hand and also understand that the allegations are beyond budget issues but other criminal allegations that cannot be swept under the carpet. The allegations are:
1-Speaker Yakubu Dogara and three others fraudulently short-changed the House of Representatives and abused their offices by unilaterally stealing N40 billion out of the N100 billion allocated for constituency projects and distributing same to themselves and the trio of Deputy Speaker Yusuf Lasun, House Whip Alhassan Ado Doguwa and Minority Leader Leo Ogor and others without the approval of the House. They tried to coerce me and went on to blackmail me to conceal this fact. I refused.
2-Speaker Yakubu Dogara approached me with personal requests of about 30 Billion naira to be inserted into the 2016 budget. It is only through fraudulent ways that such insertions can be made since the size of the budget had already been determined. My refusal to get that done caused a major rift between us, which escalated beyond measure.
3-Speaker Dogara, acting in concert with the 3 other Principal Officers and as against my advice, inserted wasteful and fraudulent projects for their constituencies worth about N20 billion in a House where some members’ constituencies barely had nothing in the budget.
4-I complained to Speaker Dogara that the Chairmen of about 10 out of the 96 standing committees of the House have inserted over 2,000 projects worth about N284 billion without the knowledge of their Committee members but my complaint was ignored because the Speaker was acting in concert with them. So is it Hon Abdulmumin that inserted 2,000 projects worth N284 billion in the budget?
5-That in a bid to ensure that his nefarious intentions are met, the Speaker took away the appropriations committee secretariat on two occasions where several fraudulent insertions were made into the budget and double standard and injustice was perpetrated. This created avoidable tension during the budget process.
6-The Speaker also gave direction to me to create a strange line item in the service wide vote to allow for a N20 billion insertion into the budget under the name of National Assembly. I refused to accede to this request.
7-The Speaker fraudulently diverted a Federal Government water project to his farm in Nasarawa State. This is in addition to a complete PHCN reticulation executed in the farm. However, the source of funding for the farm remains questionable. A copy of the CORRIGENDUM to this effect was copied to my office when I was the Chairman appropriation.
8-The Speaker also made fraudulent arrangements to make monthly deduction from money meant for members’ office RUNNING COST not salaries to fund a so-called dubious mortgage arrangement. He put forward this proposal by himself at an executive session.
9-The Speaker abused his office by directing an agency to grant loans and also arrange frequent private meetings with heads of MDAs in a clear case of corruption and conflict of interest. The “beneficiaries” were directed in a secret SMS to see a contact person for “packaging”.
10-The Speaker, acting in concert with his Deputy, the Whip and Minority Leader, allocated to themselves the entire 20% inputs reserved for the House of Representatives after the harmonization exercise using the Deputy Speaker, Yusuf Lasun to execute the crime. The Deputy Speaker in an unprecedented display of greed presented to me a hand written note distributing the remaining 20% to only principal officers. 70% of the 20% was reserved for Mr Speaker and himself while the remaining 30% of the 20% goes to other principal officers. I am sure he will recognize the handwriting when he sees it. My colleagues, you weren’t aware of this clear case of theft. You can now understand how the Deputy Speaker came about 10billion naira of fraudulent insertions in his constituency whereas other members from his state had barely anything.
11-The Speaker fraudulently collected undisclosed millions of Naira in a scam arrangement for the rent of houses and guest houses acting in connivance with Deputy Speaker Yusuf Lasun and Hon. Herman Hembe. It is a matter of public knowledge in the House that Lasun had openly accused Hembe of having carted away some millions from the illicit money. As Hon Colleague and in the spirit of transparency, shouldn’t we even know what is being received from tax payers money and from what sources?
12-The Speaker has ordered that all the computers in the appropriation secretariat be shut down and moved to his office whilst the secretariat staff are being harassed to keep quiet and suppress facts related to the entire budget and there has been attempts by agents of the speaker to burgle my office to steal vital documents.
13-The Speaker also allowed several wasteful procurement of needless items, including ones that are already in the offices of members as a ploy to siphon funds of the House
14-The Speaker has despite several protest from members continued to run the management of finances of the House and it’s budget in absolute secrecy in the face of several allegations of sharp practices and has refused to distribute copies of the internal budget to members.
15-The harassment and attempt to kidnap or kill me by Speaker Dogara and his corrupt gang and the use of his office as Speaker to sabotage the on-going investigation
16-The Speaker and the Whip were alleged to have received kick-backs and also short-changed members on the items that were supplied in respect to the 10 billion naira allocated for constituency projects under the SDG in 2015 budget. As you are aware, this matter has become a huge scandal in the House with members threatening to beat up the Whip of the House Alhassan Doguwa at several executive sessions.
17-The Speaker organized a new House rule carefully planned through a process that can not pass the lowest moral benchmark for such a sensitive document and rules book of the House. The Rules gave the Speaker draconian powers and relegates members in such a way that can only equal the South African apartheid regime. The House rule has become a subject of huge controversy and litigation.
Other allegations and members involved include:
1.Honourable Herma Hembe:
Honourable Herma Hembe is the member representing Vandeikya/KonshishaFederal Constituency of Benue State and also the Chairman of the House Committee on the Federal Capital Territory. Honourable Hembe lives way above his means. Apart from being adept at misappropriation, He has plenty questions to answer for movement of massive amount of money in the Federal Capital Territory budget which almost derailed the Kaduna-Idu rail project
2.Honourable Umar Mohammed Bago:
Hon Umar Mohammed Bago is the member representing Chanchaga Federal Constituency of Niger State and also the Chairman of the House Committee on Marine Transport. Hon Bago organized a questionable investigative hearing with support of Speaker Yakubu Dogara wherein he invited about 1,000 companies to extort money. The source of money used to fund the investigative hearing has remained a mystery
3.Honourable Zakari Mohammed:
Honourable Zakari Mohammed represents Baruten/ Kaiama Federal Constituency of Kwara State and is also the Chairman House Committee on Higher Education. He made a complete mess of the higher Education Committee budget through massive movements of funds and insertions of about 100 questionable projects in the Higher Education budget. There is also the need to investigate allegations of bribery against him and Speaker Yakubu Dogara over roles they played in the NNPC crude oil swap investigation that has now become “open ended investigation”
4.Honourable Chike Okafor:
Honourable Chike Okafor is the member representing Ehime Mbano/ Obowo/ Ihitte of Imo State and also the Chairman House Committee on health. He is responsible for the movement of colossal amounts of money with intention to commit fraud in the Health Committee budget to the tune of several billions of naira before a special intervention salvaged the situation.
5.Honourable Dan Asuquo:
Honourable Dan Asuquo represents Akamkpa/Biase Federal Constituency of Cross Rivers State and also the Chairman of the House Committee on Power. He is responsible for the movement of massive amounts of money running into billions in the Power budget with clear intent to commit fraud.
6.Honourable Jagaba Adams Jagaba
Honourable Jagaba Adam is the member representing Kachia/Kagarko Federal Constituency of Kaduna State and also the Chairman House Committee on Power. He is responsible for movement of massive amounts of money in the Interior budget with clear intent to commit fraud.
7.Honourable Haliru Jika
Honourable Haliru Jika represents Darazo/Gunjuwa Federal Constituency of Bauchi State and is also the Chairman of the House Committee on Police Affairs. He is responsible for movement of massive amounts of money in the Police budget with clear intent to commit fraud.
8 Honourable Babanle Ila
Hon Babanle Ila represent Tarauni Federal Constituency of Kano State and is also the Chairman House Services Committee. He is an accomplice in the wasteful contracts awarded by the Speaker in order to justify spending and non-disclosure of the finances and distribution of copies of the internal budget of the House.
My dear Hon Colleague, I am ready at your convenience to provide you further explanation on these allegations and share with you evidential documents showing how Speaker Dogara and the 3 others allocated the 40billion naira they stole from 100billion for constituency project, how they inserted about 20billion naira of wasteful projects, how they cornered the entire 20% of inputs reserved for the House after the harmonization exercise, how they made attempts to force in about 30billion naira of wasteful projects into the budget, how they attempted to force me to introduce a strange line item and insert about 20billion naira in the service wide vote using the name of NASS. I have evidence showing that indeed about 10 standing committees of the house made about 2,000 insertions in the budget worth about 284billion naira and indeed reports of 6 standing committees showing massive movement of money with clear intent to commit fraud.
It has become such a shame how some investigative hearings in the house under Speaker Dogara are used as ploys to carry out massive corruption and how the House Services Committee Chairman and the Speaker run and spend money meant for the House in absolute secrecy. I will continue to cooperate with you as we crack the code of corruption that has assumed a monumental proportions under Speaker Dogara.
Hon Colleague, you will agree with me that Nigerians and the world are watching to see how we will deal with this issue of incontrovertible corruption by Speaker Dogara and others. We have a golden opportunity to show the world that there is zero tolerance for corruption in the House. Even more, is the willingness of a serving member in my person who understands these issues and who has offered to stand as witness and provide every support towards prosecution. There is no better way of demonstrating our commitment to the fight against corruption than to use Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Deputy Speaker Lasun, Whip Doguwa and Minority Leader Ogor as example. You will also agree with me that in the face of all these allegations and back and forth in his utterances, Speaker Yakubu Dogara and the other Principal Officers have lost the moral ground to continue in office.
They have become a baggage that should be offloaded before they weigh down the House. From every part of Nigeria and the world, that is the opinion of people. The House must act very quickly and decisively. This case is the most important matter of urgent importance in the history of the House. In his usual mischievous manner, Speaker Dogara is wielding religious and ethnic cards and trying to drag the institution of the House, other institutions and innocent individuals into the matter. He has so soon forgotten those that led the campaign that brought him up as Speaker in the first place. In order not to take Nigerians for granted, I crave your indulgence Hon colleague that this matter should be dispensed with as a first line charge in the House before proceeding with any business of the House. Anything short will send a wrong signal to the public that the whole House is an accomplice in a crime obviously committed by the Speaker and few corrupt members. As a way forward, I wish to humbly recommend the following;
1-The House should direct Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Deputy Speaker Yusuf Lasun, Whip Alhassan Doguwa and Minority Leader Leo Ogor to step down immediately to allow for a free and fair investigation without interference as they cannot be judges in their own matters. This will ensure that the needed sanity and conducive atmosphere that will free the House from an impending suffocation returns to facilitate the commencement of legislative work with credibility.
2-To nominate a Speaker Pro Tempore to take over as Presiding Officer with immediate effect.
3-The Speaker Pro Tempore should constitute an Adhoc Committee to investigate this allegations in collaboration with the on-going external investigation by the anti-graft agencies. This has become necessary because from some public and private comments made by the incumbent Chairman of the Ethics and Privilege Committee, he has become an interested party in the matter and his ability to be impartial is in doubt. Also some of the members, including myself, who sit as members of the committee are interested party in the matter.
4-To discuss with the Executive Arm and in the spirit of justice, fairness and equity to return the N100billion constituency project component of the budget under any of our laws so that all stolen money can be returned particularly the 40billion naira and equitably distributed to all constituencies. This is possible especially that the 2016 budget will run until May 2017.
5- I am offering to identify all the fraudulent insertions by Speaker Dogara, Lasun, Doguwa, Ogor and others running into billions in the budget so that they can be removed. We have different laws under which that can be done. This will salvage the image of the House and reduce the financial pressure on the budget in the face of the current revenue challenges
6-Immediate implementation of internal reform of the activities of the House to include management of our finances, budget process, transparency and implementation of e-parliament among others. I will share with you a comprehensive memo containing suggestions I have made in this regard.
7-In the face of an on-going litigation, the House should revisit the House rules immediately and remove all draconian clauses.
My dear Hon colleague, you are not under obligation to adopt my recommendations but to the best of my conscience I strongly believe that if these recommendations are implemented, it will go a long way in resolving the crisis and provide the ventilation for the House to commence the process of internal reforms and self-cleansing to repair its battered image and restore the trust of Nigerians in the House. It is a reform that Speaker Dogara has completely lost the moral ground to superintend.
Let me emphasize for the umpteenth times that even if these recommendations are rejected and members choose to have corrupt persons at the helm of affairs of the House, I shall continue my crusade to ensure that justice is served on Speaker Dogara and others, pursue internal reforms in the House and continue with a wider anti-corruption crusade in the House and beyond.
It is with great sense of honour that I wish to bring to your attention that precisely on September 9th 2016 I turned 40 years old. I have resolved to commit the rest of my life to the fight against corruption especially in the legislature, set up massive project on transiting rural farmers from subsistence to commercial farming, return to one of my passion – lecturing at the university and mentoring the younger generation. I have become an ACTIVIST and there is no going back on this. A series on my Memoir LIFE AT 40 currently running on my Facebook fan page gives an insight into my rich and diversed family back ground that has shaped my multi cultural out look, education, work, business, politics and many aspects of my life that you may not be aware of or issues you seek to know or understand that concerns me.
I plead to you my honourable colleague to join hands in this patriotic task of salvaging our country from the chronic danger and destructive element of corruption. Those who commit offense must be punished. The institution of the House shall stand beyond any individual! How we handle this matter is a litmus test for the House of Representatives.
If we can not deal decisively with allegations of corruption within the house and ensure that justice is served irrespective of who is involved, we would have lost the moral ground to deal with corruption outside the house which constitute an important part of our responsibility. This will creat a huge impediment to discharging our functions. We must not lead ourselves into such destructive trap. Our Constituents are watching, Nigerians are watching and the world is watching!
Thank you very much for your attention
Yours in service to the nation
Hon Abdulmumin Jibrin PhD MBA SEP TSM PLD
Chairman House Committee on Finance 2011-2015
Chairman House Committee on Appropriation 2015-2016
Kiru-Bebeji Federal Constituency