The “Transparency Group” of the House of Representatives on Wednesday demanded the investigation of Speaker Yakubu Dogara and others by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over alleged padding of the 2016 budget.
The lawmakers made this known in Abuja while briefing journalists.
They insisted that Dogara and other principal officers mentioned in the budget padding scam and Abdulmumin Jibrin, a former Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, be investigated by relevant “external” government agencies.
Jibrin had alleged that the 2016 budget was jacked up using 10 of the 96 Standing Committees in the House.
Speaking on behalf of the Transparency Group, Rep. Musa Soba (APC-Kaduna) claimed that about 113 signatures had been collected from lawmakers from the six geopolitical zones and across party lines before Sallah break.
According to Soba, this is to compel the speaker to explain noticed discrepancies in the budget.
He said: “We call for an external investigation into the matter to enable us know if our principal officers are guilty or not.
“For this group, we say the budget was padded and as such, the budget being a document that belongs to all Nigerians, it is no longer an internal affair.”
Soba called on Dogara to desist from making Jibrin’s allegations look like a problem of the House.
He maintained that henceforth, the speaker, the deputy speaker, the majority whip and the minority leader should confront the allegations made against them as individuals.
He said: “We urge the leadership of the House of Representatives to stop presenting the 2016 budget padding allegations as the problem of the entire house.
“Let those at the centre of the controversy answer to all the allegations made against them individually and collectively in line with legal practice and our criminal justice system.”