Except there is a last-minute change in his schedule, the embattled Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, will on Friday meet President Muhammadu Buhari over the budget padding scandal rocking the lower legislative chamber, PREMIUM TIMES can authoritatively report.
According to President Buhari’s list of engagements for Friday, seen by this newspaper, Mr. Buhari will meet Mr. Dogara at 4.30p.m.
The meeting is at the instance of the Speaker, presidency sources said.
Associates of Mr. Dogara said the speaker sought audience with the President over the allegations levelled against him by a former chairman of the appropriations committee of the House, Abdulmumin Jibrin, that he abused his office and committed budget fraud.
The meeting is holding about 24 hours after the governing All Progressives Congress ordered Mr. Jibrin to stop further public comment on the matter.
Those familiar with the matter said Mr. Dogara sought to see the President “to offer personal explanation” on the allegations against him.
Our sources said the speaker is worried that the President might believe Mr. Jibrin’s claims if he did not make efforts to state his own side of the story to the nation’s number one citizen.
Mr. Dogara will also be requesting the President to help call Mr. Jibrin and his backers to order, our sources said.
The crisis has deeply polarised the House, with the allegations made by Mr. Jibrin now being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, the State Security Service and the Nigeria Police Force.
When contacted, Mr. Dogara’s spokesperson, Turaki Hassan, said he was not aware of the planned meeting between the President and the Speaker.