Budget padding: CNPP insists on independent investigation

The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has rejected the move by the House of Representatives to probe Honourable Abdulmumi Jibrin over what it called his efforts at exposing alleged budget fraud in House, reiterating its call for an independent investigation into the allegations “rather than engaging in the persecution of the whistle blower.”

Speaker of the House,  Hon. Yakubu Dogara and other principal officers of  were named in the budget padding and abuse of office allegations by Hon. Jibrin.

The CNPP, in a statement signed by its secretary general, Chief Willy Ezugwu, alleged that Jibrin’s probe by the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges was “a witch hunt and harassment of whistle blowers to the detriment of the ongoing war against corruption by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration”.

It said: “The CNPP insists that the Speaker and the fingered principal officers of the House must step aside until they are properly investigated as they cannot be the Judge in their own case and yet lay claim to equity.

“For us, the probe of Hon. Jibrin by the Ethics and Privileges Committee of the House, with an obvious predetermined script to suspend him, is nothing but a blackmail.

“How can the war against corruption succeed when the principal leadership of the House of Representatives noticeably pays lip service to the anti-corruption drive by the Buhari government?

“Rather than embarking on the probe, the House should have compelled the Speaker and the principal officers named by Hon. Jibrin to submit themselves to an independent probe panel comprising relevant security agencies and if cleared, they can sanction the lawmaker for false allegation. Is this not what is most reasonable to do by the House?

“What is it that the Speaker and the principal officers are afraid of? Why are they quick to probe the allegation by some members who claimed their reputation has been damaged by Hon. Jibrin’s allegations, when the allegations have not been investigated and found to be untrue?

“We, therefore, call on the Speaker to immediately disband probe committee and submit themselves first to an independent investigative panel for open probe of the allegations against them.

“It is only then can any probe of Honourable Jibrin may be acceptable to well meaning Nigerians.

“If the House is truly concerned about its image, clearing the abuse of office and budget fraud allegation against its Speaker and other principal leaders should be more troubling to them at this time,” the CNPP said.