The Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Leo Ogor, says the budget padding allegation against him and other principal officials including Speaker Yakubu Dogara, are outright lies.
Mr. Ogor said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Friday.
A former chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin, had on Thursday asked Speaker Yakubu Dogara, his deputy, Yusuf Lasun, minority leader, Leo Ogor and Chief Whip, Ado Doguwa, to resign for alleged budget padding.
Mr. Jibrin in a statement issued to journalists, accused Mr. Dogara and the other principal officers of illegally inserting and allocating projects worth over N20 billion to their constituencies in the 2016 budget.
He said that his refusal to inject another N30 billion into the budget for the speaker earned him the replacement.
Mr. Ogor questioned why his accuser had to wait until now to make the allegations.
He said he did not “want to go into altercation with anybody’’ and that “at the appropriate time, when we resume on the floor we will speak’’.
“I don’t want to go into altercation with anybody.
“At the appropriate time, when we resume on the floor we will speak.
“But I can assure you that they are all bunch of lies and there is nothing to it.
“So I am not going to waste my time responding to an issue I consider totally inconsequential.’’
He said Mr. Jibrin was aggrieved because he lost his place in the House Committee on Appropriation.
“You can read the lines; he has actually lost his committee and I believe that is the issue.
“Why didn’t he make available these allegations all along? This is the question you need to answer.
“How come he was the one that addressed the issue of this budget on channels and he accused the Presidency and the executive in respect of issues that bother on the budget.
“Today, he is singing a different tune, and I think he is good at singing different tunes anyway.
“So like I said, I am not going to go into any altercation with any person.
“I am not going to waste my time over that issue and what he has said are all lies and this kind of blackmail doesn’t work with the likes of Leo Ogor.
“So you see he is just wasting his time. I am expecting him to come and prove what he has said.’’
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