SSS seals Appropriation Committee Secretariat over budget padding scandal

FILE PHOTO

Agents of Nigeria’s secret police, State Security Service, on Saturday sealed the secretariat of the House Committee on Appropriation, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.

The closure marked the latest development in the ongoing political and media war between the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, and a lawmaker from Kano State, Abdulmumin Jibrin, over alleged manipulation of line items and figures in the 2016 Appropriation Bill.

Mr. Jibrin began working to oust Mr. Dogara from office a day after the Speaker announced his removal as chairman of Appropriation Committee on allegations that he committed serial betrayal of trust.

PREMIUM TIMES sources said SSS officials stormed the secretariat, which serves as offices for the 40-member appropriation committee and its staff, and immediately placed it under lock and key.

The sources said the SSS also sealed Mr. Jibrin’s office at Room 1.05 in the New House of Representatives building.

The development followed Mr. Jibrin’s statement on Thursday that Mr. Dogara ordered removal of workstation from the Appropriation Committee Secretariat and allegedly attempted to break into his office.

Mr. Jibrin had reportedly visited the SSS Headquarters on Friday to brief the agency about the budget padding scandal rocking the House. He also called on EFCC and ICPC to commence investigation into the crisis with a view to prosecuting those involved.

Efforts to reach the spokesperson of the House of Representatives, Abdulrazak Namdas, were unsuccessful as his phone was switched off. Speaker Dogara’s spokesperson, Turaki Hassan, disconnected a phone call upon hearing it was a PREMIUM TIMES’ enquiry.

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