Dogara bribing lawmakers with N3.6 billion car purchase spree – Jibrin

Abdulmumin-Jibrin (1)

Suspended lawmaker, Abdulmumin Jibrin, over the weekend advised Nigerians to be sceptical of reasons given by the House of Representatives for the purchase of new Peugeot cars.

Lawmakers started taking delivery of Peugeot 508 saloon cars —priced at N10 million each— about two weeks ago, eliciting a huge backlash from Nigerians who said the National Assembly has become a congregation of insensitive politicians.

All the 360 members of the House are expected to benefit from the welfare package at an estimated cost of N3.6 billion to taxpayers.

Nigerians were particularly infuriated about the latest spending spree by lawmakers because it came barely weeks after the country’s economy nosedived into recession.

The distribution, which the House said was needed for legislative functions, is on top of the humongous salaries, allowances and other welfare packages which everyday Nigerians had long groaned was amongst the highest in the world.

Writing from his self-imposed exile in London, Mr. Jibrin said the vehicle purchase binge marked the latest manifestation of the sharp practices that have become synonymous with the parliament under Yakubu Dogara’s leadership.

The Kano lawmaker, who was suspended on September 28 for highlighting possible budget fraud in the House, said Mr. Dogara approved the purchase as a quid pro quo for guaranteed loyalty from members.

“The hurried purchase of the cars is part of the carrot and stick approach deployed by Speaker Dogara to silent members and ensure that the allegations of massive budget fraud and corruption against him never sees the light of the day,” Mr. Jibrin said.

He said lawmakers hardly take a long ride on oversight functions, making the purchase of 360 new vehicles insensitive, reckless and unnecessary.

Mr. Jibrin said administrators of ministries, departments and agencies which lawmakers usually supervise for wrongdoings are usually responsible for logistics of all lawmakers.

“It is an outright lie that the cars are needed for oversight as over 80 per cent of oversight activities of the House of Representatives are carried out in Abuja,” Mr. Jibrin said. “And in almost all instances, it is the MDAs that arrange buses to convey members from the premises of the House to the respective MDAs.”

In the case of “areas that are far away from Abuja, members always use flights to the nearest location while the MDAs arrange vehicles and other logistics to complete the visit.

“In almost all instances the MDA’s provide accommodation and pay for the tickets and other logistics,” Mr. Jibrin said.

Mr. Dogara’s media aide, Turaki Hassan, did not respond to PREMIUM TIMES’ request for comment Monday night.

But Abdulrazak Namdas, the spokesman for the House, confirmed Monday night that 28 lawmakers have so far benefitted from the scheme —with additional 22 more to collect before the end of the year.

“The vehicles are being distributed in batches of 50 vehicles per delivery,” Mr. Namdas said. “I can confirm that 28 lawmakers have collected and we plan to give additional 22 members from the first 50 vehicles that arrived.”

Mr. Namdas, who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES from a gathering of West African parliamentarians in Ghana, said the lawmakers did, in fact, put Nigerians into consideration while deliberating on the purchase.

“Please, let Nigerians understand that these vehicles will not be paid for at once,” Mr. Namdas said. “We will pay on instalments from now until the end of this Assembly in 2019.”

“Also, note that we bought the vehicles from Peugeot Automobile Nigeria, this is because we understand the need to boost local production and keep people in their jobs at the company.

“We did all that because we knew Nigerians were going through a hard time as a result of the economic downturn,” Mr. Namdas said.

The lawmaker also suggested that the cost per unit of the vehicles may be seen as an uptick as a result of the lingering foreign exchange crisis.

“You know the dollar has gone up now and we’re already hearing that there may be a review of the prices that were quoted when we initially negotiated the deal,” Mr. Namdas said.

But he said the controversy over the purchase was only the latest misplaced outrage from the public.

“There shouldn’t be any controversy over this matter because we’ve been on it for over a year,” Mr. Namdas said.

The reps controversy came seven months after their counterparts in the Senate took delivery of exotic SUVs, which civic groups decried as “ungodly” and “criminal.”


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  • Right Minded

    This fulani man called Jibrin is politically dead but he is still yet to realise that. He is no different from El-Rufai who has been running his mouth just because he feels that his Presidential ambition is being threatened by Atiku. Jibrin is really embittered that he is being sidelined from the house he helped in building and stabilizing. He is doing everything possibly to bring down the house but unfortunately he has lost out.

    • Idowu

      The question is whether he is telling the truth or not, and it is obvious he is.

    • Thedream

      But do you consider what is saying and remove Jubril for once? At least Jubril is comfortable but what about us (you and i)

      • Right Minded

        bro, am also comfortable, but i dont know about you. Am not a politician but a private sector player, so if u believe whatever happens in the house is making you uncomfortable, i advice you go join Charlie boy and his people that are marching to the house in protest.

    • Oyi

      Why not judge him based on his present position? Yeah, he was part of them but he seems to have repented maybe through your prayers or the prayers of many Nigerians. Lets support this young man since he has decided to expose his colleagues.

  • Mr X

    You are still talking????? What was it called when you collected in the last dispensation? You goofed and it backfired, am shocked at how you carried out this fight, it was obviously doomed from your first tweet as noble as it should have been. Trigger my foot, you are not any different from the people you are accusing. For a start lead by example and return what you claim to have been given illegally.

    • Thedream

      And if he didn’t return let him be silent forever and the corruption should continue at geometric ration right? The you expect the angel should come from. Heaven to fight for us.

  • TUNERI2

    You guys criticizing jibrin are the same people who are asking for change in the national assembly. Now you have somebody that for whatever reason, he is exposing the corruption and recklessness of our law makers, and all you care about was that he was part of the system. Has it occur to you that it is for the same reason that he was an insider that made him so useful in the anti corruption war. We need to encourage this guy and pray for more like him.

  • Myson

    For whatever reason, Buhari Government message to whistle-blowers is clear. A government that allowed whistle blower to go on exile while people he accused carries on as nothing happen is doing more damage to so called war against corruption. In this case, little things matters a lot.

    • Thedream

      Until he is protected am beginning to thin otherwise as far as pmb is concerned

  • Oyi

    Whether he was part of the them before or not, what should be our concern is how can the masses rise to stop our leaders from this madness? Yeah, he was part of them lets pretend or assume that he has repented, and what he is saying is the bitter truth, why can’t we find a common ground to rescue our nation from these rogues in both chambers? ASUU’s demands have not been met, our brothers ,sisters, friends, and children are out of schools as a result of the strike while these same people sends their children abroad to enjoy quality and uninterrupted education, then their children will come back and rule our children again. Please, lets form a group to fight this nonsense. Enough is enough

  • Kunle Adufe

    All d Elites holding a sensitive positions in Govt,Depts & ministries are not sincere in a country called Nigeria.To be candid,PMB is sincere but unfortunately he is surrounded by corrupt society.At this point,Critics like Gani fawehinmi is needed to lead a strong protest to flush out these hoodlums called lawmakers,oh l’m sorry” law manipulators” out of the democratic system.Jubrin has given us a pointer and Nigerians are dragging their feet b/c we’re not ready for liberation struggle.Gani has gone and Nigerians are in cross roads-confusion and poverty.