Budget padding: EFCC questions officials of 16 Ministries; Dogara, others to be invited soon

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ABUJA, OCTOBER 19, 2016 – The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, says officials of 16 Federal Ministries have been questioned over a petitioned it received from suspended House of Representatives member, Abdulmumin Jibrin against the Speaker of the Lower Legislative Chamber, Yakubu Dogara and other principal members of the House.Abdulmumin had accused the Speaker, Dogara, and other principal officers of the House of padding the 2016 budget to the tune of N40bn under the guise of constituency project.

The suspended House member in the petition had alleged that the N40bn projects were shared among the Speaker, his Deputy, Yussuff Lasun; the Whip of the House, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa; and the Minority Leader, Leo Ogor.

Jibrin also claimed that the Speaker ignored his complaint that the chairmen of 10 out of the 96 standing committees inserted 2,000 projects worth about N284bn into the budget among others.

The Kano lawmaker further alleged that his refusal to accept a requested insertion of N30bn into the 2016 budget led to the misunderstanding between them.

Meanwhile, an operative of the commission on Tuesday disclosed that investigations into Jibrin’s allegations were at advanced stage, adding that the commission had gathered some evidence on some of the issues raised in the petition, Punch reports.

According to the source, “The commission is seriously working on the petition against the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, and some principal officers of the House.

“The investigation is progressing smoothly. As a matter of fact, operatives have interrogated officers of 16 ministries in reaction to the matter.

“We will soon get to the level where those who have cases to answer would be invited to make clarifications where necessary.”

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