Budget padding: Jibrin flees Nigeria, vows not to return

The suspended member of the House of Representatives, Abdulmumin Jibrin, on Monday vowed never to return to Nigeria unless his safety is guaranteed.Jibrin made this known in a statement in Abuja.

Jibrin left Nigeria for London last week to receive an award and take his anti-corruption campaign to the international community.

He was suspended for 180 legislative days by the House of Representatives after accusing the Speaker, some Principal Officers and a few other members of corruption, abuse of office and monumental fraud in padding up the 2016 budget.

In an exclusive interview with a television station in London on Monday, the lawmaker said he recently received threats from some of the lawmakers he accused of corruption.

According to him, the “House cabal”, led by the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara; Deputy Speaker, Yusuf Lasun; Whip, Alhassan Doguwa; and Minority Leader, Leo Ogor, are using Hon. Herma Hembe to either assassinate or kidnap him or members of his family.

The lawmaker also said that the initial silence of President Muhammadu Buhari on the matter was a blessing in disguise because if the President had spoken much earlier, he would have been accused of using him to fight the House leadership.

He said that the time was ripe and the crisis matured enough for Buhari to break his silence.

Jibrin said: “The situation currently at hand is different from the initial stage of the crisis. The silence of the presidency is no longer sending the right message to Nigerians and the international community.”

Jibrin also revealed that he recently wrote to President Buhari, seeking audience to brief him about the monumental fraud in the 2016 budget, individual and systemic corruption in the House.

He said his letter also included some vital information on how to check corruption in the house, fraud in budget process and reform the House for the good of the country.

According to him, over 2,000 fraudulent projects worth over N284 billion were inserted into 2016 budget, saying such fraud never happened in the history of the Nigerian legislature.

He also exonerated himself of any wrongdoing in the appropriation process, saying he had been in the House for five years and had never abused his office or corruptly enriched himself.

Jibrin reiterated his resolve to continue with the anti-corruption campaign.

He revealed that he would take the campaign to the international stage by reaching out to foreign governments, parliaments, media, civil society groups and Nigerians in Diaspora among others.

He said that it would enable him to press further for the arrest and prosecution of Dogara, Lasun, Doguwa, Ogor and other members; he tagged the corrupt cabal in the House of Representatives.

Hembe, who is one of the lawmakers accused by Jibrin of the padding of the 2016 budget, said Jibrin fled to the United Kingdom to avoid prosecution.

Hembe disclosed this in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja while reacting to Jibrin’s statement.

Hembe said: “My attention has been drawn to a statement issued by the suspended member Abdulmumin Jibrin who has fled to United Kingdom.

“Jibrin’s allegation that his life is under threat is laughable.

“I understand that the anti-graft agencies are closing in on him with their investigation into his past deeds.

“He might have got the hint of his possible prosecution and decided to flee while raising false alarm.

“May I remind him that no matter where he goes justice will surely catch up with him as there is no hiding place for criminals in our today’s world.”



... Reporting Development

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