Buhari’s silence on House budget scandal ‘a blessing’ — Jibrin

Abdulmumin Jibrin
Abdulmumin Jibrin

Suspended lawmaker, Abdulmumin Jibrin, on Saturday said President Buhari’s hands-off approach to the budget padding scandal was actually “a blessing in disguise”.

Mr. Jibrin has accused the leadership of the House of Representatives of fraud.

His colleagues accused him of denting the image of the National Assembly, and suspended him on Wednesday for 180 legislative days following a brief inquiry.

A defiant Mr. Jibrin said his suspension could not have come at a better time as it would now afford him the opportunity to launch a full-scale legal assault against the House.

“At this point, I must say they freed me up to concentrate on the matter in court,” Mr. Jibrin said hours after he was suspended. “I’m going into a massive alliance with civil society groups, NGOs and well-meaning Nigerian to continue to press ahead.”

In his statement Saturday, which he tagged as his Independence Day compliments to Nigerians, Mr. Jibrin said his cause could have been defeated if Mr. Buhari had weighed in on the allegations of budget fraud in the House from the onset.

“If Mr. President had jumped into the matter at the early stage, trust Nigerians, they would have concluded that the presidency is using me to fight the House,” Mr. Jibrin said. ”Such perception and blackmail would have been difficult to deal with. The silence of Mr. President on this matter is a blessing in disguise”

He, however, highlighted areas in which the president could help bolster his “whistle-blowing” duties.

“Anybody who can reach Mr. President should inform him that in the face of several threats to my life and that of my family, one of the security agencies had suddenly withdrawn its officers protecting me,” Mr. Jibrin said. “This has made me vulnerable in the face of such persistent threats.”

Mr. Jibrin allegations were largely targeted at Speaker Yakubu Dogara and a few other lawmakers who he said connived to remove him as the Chairman of House Committee on Appropriation in July.

Mr. Jibrin said his independence of mind made him an unwelcome figure among the House leadership, which he castigated as being “stinkingly corrupt”.

Mr. Dogara and other lawmakers have denied the allegations.

But Mr. Jibrin stood his ground, releasing details of how Mr. Dogara and other lawmakers, including himself, were pocketing illegal allowances.

Mr. Jibrin repeated the charges in his statement Saturday, saying he had informed members of the Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption about how he and his colleagues were stealing public funds while the majority of Nigerians grappled with poverty.

“That was why when Bolaji Owasanoye and his colleagues at PACAC asked me why are my colleagues silent, I answered (that) most of us are “beneficiaries,” Mr. Jibrin said.

The House said it will investigate Mr. Jibrin’s allegations if he presented them before the Ethics and Privileges Committee.



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  • Rommel

    Mr president on assuming office made it abundantly clear that he will never interfere with functions of other arms of government and as far as we know,he has been living up to that pledge even to the detriment of his own interest,he is a man of his word and such people should be treated with respect.

    • saheedl

      Well said @ Rommel. I read one Onabanjo today accusing Mr. President of being a Dictator. If he was, most of these thieves would have been jailed without following due process.

      • Anderson Nwosu

        Well he doesn’t have enough proof that is why he cannot jail them. APC propaganda machine is at work always

    • Okokondem


      Explain this to me then….Buhari has defined the centerpiece of his government as war against corruption. Let’s suppose his government recovers some of the country’s looted money which through budgetary process finds its way back in the hands of these legislators who engage in budget padding, with a singular purpose of rewarding themselves. Would you still endorse the president’s supposedly hands off approach in terms of what goes on in the national assembly?

      I believe what the president meant (should mean) when he said he would not interfere with the functions of the other branches of government is not to interfere in the legislative process as legally defined in the Constitution. However, budget padding which we have all become familiar with is unconstitutional. It’s a flagrant violation of the legislative process or functions of the legislative branch.

      So, I disagree with the premise that the president is honoring the nonintereference clause between the branches of government by turning a blind eye to a serious allegation involving the budget procedures in the national assembly.

      I believe the president has the responsibility to instruct or direct his department of justice and attorney general to investigate such matters. It is in fact unconstitutional and a dereliction of duty to not act.

      • Rommel

        In a democracy,every citizen has a responsibility,PMB will not always be Nigeria’s president and so it is important we allow institutions to function independent of strong personalities, what is there in our statutory books to take care of such happenings in the national assembly? that is what we are talking about and not the president giving directives,what if we have a president who is not interested in fighting corruption like we just experienced under president Jonathan? would you be happy for the country to go throgh what it went through under GEJ all over again?

        • Okokondem

          As many Nigerians often do on almost all issues, you have taken sides by exonorating Buhari, and castigating Jonathan. According to you:

          ” In a democracy,every citizen has a responsibility,PMB will not always be Nigeria’s president and so it is important we allow institutions to function independent of strong personalities, what is there in our statutory books to take care of such happenings in the national assembly?

          You tell me, what is there in our statutory books to take care of BUDGET PADDING when the people implicated in Jibrin’s allegations argued that budget padding was legal.

          Do you understand or believe that what we have come to know as budget padding is legal and constitutional?

          Do you believe the national assembly, based on their track record is capable of investigating itself?

          Why do you believe the use of the justice department to investigate serious allegations of financial crimes in the national assembly amounts to a breach of the separation of powers, or as you put it, invoking strong personality by one branch of the government over the order?

          I will give you an example. A former US congressman from the state of Louisiana was implicated in a scandal involving oil dealings in Nigeria. The US legal system did not leave it up to the Congress to determine whether or not Congressman Jefferson did or didn’t violate the law. Rather, the Law & Order kicked in and the rest was history. Incidentally, Nigerians that were implicated in that case escaped justice because, according to you, institutions were allowed to police themselves.

          The problem I have with fellow Nigerians is this blind loyalty informed by either tribe, religion, region or section, party affiliation or even some wired fascination with individual candidates or politicians. It’s almost impossible to shake you guys from these alligences no matter what the circumstances. And this factor alone accounts for much of the setbacks and lack of progress in the country. The fact that everyone has something or someone to defend at all costs.

          You come across as one capable of analysis but your alligences get in the way of rationale.

          • Rommel

            I was waiting for you to tell me that American president ordered the probe of congressman Jefferson,but like you pointed out,institutions kicked in so if we have no such thing in Nigeria,by which powers do they want the president to use? you can mobilize to get your voice heard about those anomalies

  • peter ukangini

    Mr Jibrin, you are not a whistle-blower, you are just on vengeance mission. Why didn’t you blow this whistle when you were holding the chairmanship position? please try to be an honourable man by keeping your mouth shut!

    • Okokondem

      Let me get this right, your position is, since Jibrin did not “blow the whistle” before his ouster as the chairman of the house appropriations committee, his allegations of gross misappropriation (let call it embezzlement because at the end of the day that is what it amounts to) of the country’s money by Dogara and others has no merit and should not be investigated. Is that your position? And you wonder why you have no electricity, no good roads, illequipped schools and hospitals. You wonder why teachers don’t receive salaries for several months, why retirees don’t receive their pensions. The list is endless.

      And you care very little about any of these, where the money that could have improved these services went because the actions of this whistle blower do not fit your definition of a whistle blower. That’s brilliant.

  • government

    Oga Jibrin,return your own make we get evidence.

  • favourtalk

    i know the corruption will be dealt with


      PMB takes one step after the other

  • JasV

    Without being told I know that it is the Nigerian Police that must have withdrawn its service to the lawmaker