Saturday, August 27, 2016 9:07 am
Abdulmumin Jibrin, the former chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation seemed not done in his battle against the leadership of the House of Representatives.
In a statement he released on Friday night, Jibrin said his calculations indicated that the 10 principal officers of the House of Representatives, led by the Speaker Yakubu Dogara, have received about N10 billion in various allowances since they were first elected lawmakers. He described the allowances as running costs.
The Kano lawmaker added that the revelation is part of his ongoing efforts to fight graft among lawmakers.
According to him, with few exceptions, the funds are diverted for personal use.
The statement reads in part: “Today, I will start with the 10 Principal Officers of the House of Representatives. If just these 10 are named and shamed it will force reform in the House. I will therefore provide what each one of them had collected as ‘office running cost’ in their entire stay in the House.
“If any one of them disputes my figure, he or she should not make drama out of it but just simply tell the country how much he or she has collected.
“From computation of various sub-heads of allowances of the House, Speaker Yakubu Dogara has been in the House from 2007 to date. He has received about N1.5 billion.
“Deputy Speaker Yusuf Lasun has been in the house from 2011 to date. He has received about N800 million. House Leader Femi Gbajabiamila has been in the House from 2003 to date. He has received about N1.2 billion.
“Deputy House Leader Buba has been in the House from 2007 to date. He received about N1.2 billion.
“Whip Alhassan Doguwa has been in the House from 2003 to date. He has received about N1.2 billion.
“Deputy Whip Pally Iriase has been in the House from 2011 to date. He has received N700 million.
“Minority Leader Leo Ogor has been in the House from 2007 to date. He has received N1.2 billion.
“Deputy Minority Leader Barde has been in the House from 2011 to date. He has received N700 million.
“Minority Whip Chuma has been in the House from 2007 to date. He had received N800 million.
“And finally, Deputy Minority Whip Binta has been in the House from 2011 to date. She has received N700 million.
“So in between these 10 Principal Officers, the country has pumped about N10 billion – and still counting.
Jibrin added that the ‘running costs’ was outside of salaries of lawmakers.
“No more, no less – case closed! Most of these members used it to acquire properties, cars and live a life of luxury they never lived before coming to the House. Though, there exist systems for retirement of such money but a simple investigation by a primary school pupil will reveal the massive fraud therein,” he said.
“The consequential effect of dealing with corruption in the House, especially the allowances issue, will take its toll on even elections. Candidates usually spend so much money hoping that they can recoup from the huge allowances they will receive when elected into House.
“When you know that there is no such money in the House to be shared, I am sure nobody will want to put in so much money just to win an election to the House.
“The resultant effect will be that only people who truly want to serve will vie for the office, and voters will be obliged to vote according to the dictate of their conscience. This is just one advantage,” he added in the statement.
The embattled lawmaker added that he will provide further break-down of the figures as well as 50 additional names of members with worst cases of diversion of such funds in due course.