Ex-Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations, Abdulmumin Jibrin, on Saturday, alleged that his colleagues were blackmailed into keeping silent over the issue of budget padding currently rocking the lower chamber.
Jibrin said this in an interview in Abuja, on Saturday.
He spoke to commemorate the first 100 days of the crisis over the 2016 budget ,which earned him a 180-day suspension from the House of Representatives.
Jibrin explained that a lot of his colleagues in the House of Representatives shared his views about the systemic corruption within the House but that the issue of running cost had been used by the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, to silence them.
He said, “If you remember during our recess, you had the Transparency Group and the Integrity Group talking; then soon after we resumed, they continued to talk but immediately after my suspension, everybody went quiet.
“There is one issue that unites the House and that is the issue of running costs. I had never thought that the Speaker could go into a meeting and blackmail his colleagues”
According to him, though many members are still angry about the issue of the 2016 budget fraud and other issues of corruption in the House, the Monday before resumption, the Speaker organised caucuses which looked normal.
Jibrin said, “When the Speaker came into the hall, the first thing he said shocked everybody. He said, ‘Look, the issues that Jibrin is bringing are not only going to bring down Dogara, Lasun, Leo Ogor, and Alhassan Doguwa. They are going to involve the whole House because when they start investigations, it will include the issue of running costs.
“The issue of running cost, which is an entrenched systemic corruption, involves almost every member.”
The Special Adviser (Media) to the Speaker, Mr. Turaki Hassan, declined to comment when contacted.
Spokesman for the House, Abdulrazak Namdas, however said, “All what we need to say about the suspended members case has been said and I have nothing more to add.”