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Budget Scandal: Namdas defends House of Reps, gives reasons for Jibrin’s sack

By Mayowa Okekale, Abuja on 27/07/2016

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The former Chairman of Appropriation Committee, House of Representatives, Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin, was removed as a result of sundry acts involving misconduct, incompetence, immaturity, total disregard for his colleagues and abuse of budgetary process, among others.

Chairman, House Committee on Media and Publicity, Abdulrazak Namdas, who made this disclosure on Tuesday, during a Press Conference held at the National Assembly, added that the immaturity and lack of capacity to handle the office of Chairman, Appropriations, contributed to the removal of Jibrin.

Namdas said: “He was found not to be fit and proper person to hold such a sensitive office which exposes him to high officials of government at all levels. He was in the habit of collating, warehousing and manipulating sensitive information to blackmail people, sometimes apparently for pecuniary purposes. And by virtue of his position as Appropriations Chairman, he usually met with very high and senior public officers at all levels.

“He did not stop there. Hon. Jibrin went about soliciting Honourable members to nominate projects for him to help them include in the Budget. When called upon to defend his actions as Appropriation Committee Chairman, all he did was to be calling names of those members and the amount he helped include for them in the Budget in an unsuccessful bid to silence them. Most of the affected members took serious exceptions to his despicable antics and sundry acts of blackmail and protested to the leadership to prevail on Hon. Jibrin to expunge from the Budget what he claimed he allocated to them since they did not solicit for those projects.”

Namdas also revealed that it was discovered that Jibrin discreetly and clandestinely allocated monies for projects that are not clearly defined in the budget for the purposes of exploiting the ambiguities for personal gains. He posited that "he was found to be responsible for some bogus allocations in the budget for projects that have no locations and were apparently never meant to be executed.

“Hon. Jibrin’s mishandling of the 2016 budget process nearly fractured the otherwise cordial relationship between the Executive and the Legislature and brought the National Assembly and the government to public ridicule.”

Speaking further on the powers of the National Assembly on Appropriations, Namdas insisted that there was no way the 2016 Budget would have been padded, because “the legislature is therefore constitutionally incapable of padding the budget.”

“The powers of the National Assembly on appropriation are clearly spelt out in Sections 4, 59 and 80 (4) of the 1999 Constitution. Section 4, empowers the National Assembly to make laws for good governance of the federation while Section 59 confers on the Legislature final say on the budget.

“Section 80 (4) on the other hand, which confers on the legislature absolute power of control over public funds, states that: ‘No money shall be withdrawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund or any other public fund of the Federation, except in the manner prescribed by the National Assembly’. The word ‘manner’ confers absolute legislative discretion.”

Namdas concluded therefore, that the National Assembly appropriates funds in the budget but such cannot, under any circumstances, or guise, be deemed or regarded as tinkering or padding.

•Photo shows Reps Spokesman, Hon. Namdas.

Source News Express

Posted 27/07/2016 3:34:21 PM

 

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