Follow us

2,675FansLike
227FollowersFollow
6FollowersFollow
FollowersFollow
902FollowersFollow
138SubscribersSubscribe

SERAP To Dogara: ‘Budget Padding’ Is Clear Corruption, Resign Now

Although we are headquartered in Washington D.C. USA, our reporters and editors are working around the globe to cover what you care about. We invite you to donate to our fundraiser to help us keep our quality news free and available for all.

Nigerian activists on Sunday faulted the embattled Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, for saying that “budget padding is not a crime under Nigerian law” and called for his immediate resignation.

Padding the budget remains a very confusing concept in Nigeria with many saying it is the practice of inflating the budget, hiding money in the budget or duplicating projects to make money for a few lawmakers and government officials away from public scrutiny.

But even those who try to explain often need to re-explain as the more they explain they more Nigerians try to understand by asking many questions. And very few people can really say when is the budget “padded” – whether it’s done by government officials or in the National Assembly by lawmakers breaking the law.

[read_more id="2" more="Read full article" less="Read less"]

Mr. Dogara, who has been at loggerheads with another House of Representatives member, Mr. Abdulmumin Jibrin, has been accused by the latter of trying to pad (inflate) President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2016 budget in connivance with some government officials.

Mr. Jibrin claimed the plan had almost succeeded but for his intervention. Mr. Jibrin resigned in July as House of Representatives Appropriation Committee Chairman, a very important Committee in the National Assembly.

Mr. Dogara and his supporters in the House had said Mr. Jibrin was ousted and was viciously attacking the Speaker and his colleagues in anger, but the latter claimed he resigned to expose wrongdoing and evil at the House of Representatives.

Since his sack or resignation, Mr. Jibrin has blasted Mr. Dogara in the media, including some principal officers in the 360-member House, releasing statements after statements, accusing them of massive corruption, and claiming recently that the Speaker bribed some of them to try to disparage him.

Last week, reports said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had stepped in to investigate allegations and counter-allegations made by Mr. Jibrin and the other side, and President Muhammadu Buhari called for a meeting with Mr. Dogara.

After that meeting last week, Mr. Dogara was quoted as telling news men that padding the budget is not corruption under the Nigerian law.

“Budget padding is not an offence. What is padding? I studied law and I have been in the legislature and all this period I have never heard of the word padding being an offence under any law…Why should I be worried. As far as I am concerned, I am not worried over anything,” he said.

The reacting was immediate outrage, especially from members of the House who opposed his election in the first place in June last year. The All Progressives Congress, APC, had anointed a Lagos lawmaker to be elected Speaker last year after the party defeated the then ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP, of Mr. Goodluck Jonathan. But Mr. Dogara emerged Speaker against the wishes and blessing of his party. Since then, he ha been opposed by many in the House, the same way, Senate President, Mr. Bukola Saraki emerged winner against the wishes of his party last year also, angering many who have continued to oppose him till date.

Many other Nigerians, especially on the social media condemned the Speaker for his statement, alleging that he was trying to cover up corruption allegations against him and his colleagues.

On Sunday, some activists joined, calling for him to resign to allow an unbiased and external investigation.

In a statement to TheSimonAtebaNews, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) faulted Mr. Dogara, saying that budget padding is “in-fact corruption”.

SERAP executive director Adetokunbo Mumuni, who released the statement, said, “Budget padding in fact is corruption, as it is implicit in corruption offences such as abuse of office, attempt to embezzle, divert, and misappropriate public funds, conspiracy to act corruptly, and illicit enrichment”.

He said “the allegations against Mr Dogara and other principal officials of the House of Representatives also suggest a subversion of the budget process, which in itself is a crime but also a fundamental breach of constitutional provisions and an affront to internationally recognized human rights.”

He added: “A prima-facie case of corruption is established when elected officials are allegedly influenced to act contrary to their obligations of office by the prospect of financial gain to themselves. Budget padding also amounts to corruption as the action is against the public interest. Any appearance of corruption in the budget process can result in a cynical public to losing interest in political participation altogether. And democracy can’t work unless Nigerians have faith in those who govern.”

“If Mr Dogara refuses to resign to allow for effective and transparent investigation and the allegations of budget padding are swept under the carpet, the ability of the House of Representatives to function as a watchdog and credible guardian of the public interest would be seriously compromised.”

But, even as the activists tried to explain, it was not clear if they were saying corruption took place or could have taken place in the 2016 budget. Under the Nigerian legal system, suspects are innocent until proven guilty and Mr. Dogara and other officers remain innocent until a court of law proves them otherwise, many say.

Many were also confused, with some alleging that budget padding is committed by Mr. Buhari’s government officials and not lawmakers who are just watchdogs.

President Buhari sacked his Director of Budget early this year following evidence that the budget had been inflated by the officials.

With that, many Nigerians were still expecting to hear more and know whether President Buhari’s men or lawmakers or both had inflated the budget for personal gains and how they do it.

[/read_more]

TODAY NEWS AFRICA
TODAY NEWS AFRICAhttps://todaynewsafrica.com
TODAY NEWS AFRICA is registered and headquartered in Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America. Our publication is widely read, respected and influential. By providing daily answers to questions our readers have about the people, the businesses and the continent of Africa, we are reaching a diverse and wide audience from around the world. Our readers, many of them world leaders, trust us because we are independent and truthful. Our advertisers understand the difference between news, views and ads. Contact us: contactus@todaynewsafrica.com

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Trending Now

Follow us

2,675FansLike
227FollowersFollow
6FollowersFollow
1FollowersFollow
902FollowersFollow
138SubscribersSubscribe

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dead at 87, thrusting apex Court vacancy into spotlight of presidential campaign

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died at the age of 87, thrusting the apex court vacancy into spotlight...

Five Africans from Nigeria, Egypt, Senegal, Liberia and Uganda make UN 2020 class of 17 young world leaders

The United Nations on Friday announced the names of the latest class of 17 Young Leaders for the Sustainable Development Goals...

UN calls for bold action for world to recover from COVID-19

Amidst a crisis unlike any other in our lifetimes, with COVID-19 destroying lives and livelihoods across the globe, the 75th session...

USAID awards millions of dollars to Washington State University to combat lethal livestock disease in East Africa known as East Coast Fever

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded millions of dollars to Washington State University to combat a lethal livestock...

540 bipartisan elected officials from all 50 U.S. states urge President Trump to welcome refugees

At least 540 local and state elected officials from all 50 states and the District of Columbia expressed their strong support...

MOST POPULAR

Nigerian activists sue Senate President and House of Representatives Speaker over ‘failure to publish details of corruption probes’

Nigeria's Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has filed a lawsuit against the Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan and Speaker of House...

IMF announces COVID-19 youth fellowship contest

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday announced its IMF 2020 Annual Meetings Youth Fellowship Contest, which is open to bloggers,...

One of Nigeria’s most influential pastors Enoch Adeboye protests rising insecurity under Buhari as Prophet T.B. Joshua calls for prayers

Enoch Adejare Adeboye, one of Nigeria's most influential pastors, and General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God with branches...

South African president gives defense minister 48 hours to explain why air force plane was used to fly ANC members to Zimbabwe

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has given Minister of Defense and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula 48 hours to explain why a South...

The world should hear the cries of Oromo people in Ethiopia

The Oromo people in Ethiopia are good people and the world should hear their cries for justice, equality, peace, liberty, democracy...

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dead at 87, thrusting apex Court vacancy into spotlight of presidential campaign

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died at the age of 87, thrusting the apex court vacancy into spotlight of the presidential campaign.The Supreme Court said in a statement Ginsburg died from metastatic cancer of the pancreas at her home in Washington surrounded by family."Our nation has lost a justice of historic...

Stay connected

[/read_more]

[read_more id="2" more="Read full article" less="Read less"]

WhatsApp
Reddit
Share
Tweet
Share