Politics: Sacked Chairman of Appropriation committee, Abdulmumin Jibrin, was fraudulent- Dogara says
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara has reacted to
the corruption allegations leveled against him and three other principal
officers of the house by the sacked chairman of the House Appropriation
committee, Abdulmumin Jibrin. The sacked chairman has in the last few
days released statements alleging that Dogara and the other principal
officers were engaged in over N40 billion budget padding.
Reacting via a statement signed by the house's spokesperson, Abdulrazak
Namdas, Dogara accused Mumin of fraud and highhandedness. Read the
You will recall that on Wednesday, July 20, 2016, Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin
was removed from his position as Chairman of the House Committee on
Appropriations and replaced by Hon. Mustapha Bala Dawaki. This was done
in exercise of the powers conferred on Mr. Speaker by the House Rules to
appoint and remove Committee Chairmen and Deputies in consultation with
the House Leadership.
On that occasion, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, had stated that
Jibrin’s removal was a decision of the House Leadership and that
incidentally, after that decision, Hon. Abdulmumin himself approached
him on the floor of the House, just before he made the announcement,
notifying him that the pressure on him was beyond what he could bear and
that he no longer desired to continue as Chairman.
Strangely, after this, Hon. Abdulmumin went into a press war in which he
is maligning, misrepresenting and denigrating the Speaker, the
Leadership, the entire members of the House and indeed the House of
Representatives as an institution.
It has become imperative that we clarify some of the issues he has raised to set the record straight.
2. SOME REASONS WHY HON. ABDULMUMIN JIBRIN WAS REMOVED:
His removal was based on sundry acts of misconduct, incompetence,
immaturity, total disregard for his colleagues and abuse of the
budgetary process, among others.
a. Immaturity and lack of capacity to handle the Office of Chairman, Appropriations:
One of the fundamental reasons why the House Leadership removed him is
that, 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
Furthermore, in the course of the performance of his duties as Chairman
of Appropriations Committee, it became evident that he does not possess
the temperament and maturity required for such a high office.
b. Tendency and proclivity to blackmail colleagues and high government
officials and misuse and mishandle sensitive government information:
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.
The Speaker and the Leadership were inundated with complaints by heads
of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) over harassment from the
House Appropriations Chairman to engage in conduct and acts unbecoming
of their offices.
The Leadership launched an internal investigation into these allegations
and was largely satisfied that action had to be taken to remove him, in
the interest of the integrity of the House.
One clear example is the insertion of Funds for the so called Muhammadu
Buhari Film Village in his Constituency in Kano without the consent or
solicitation of Mr. President. This has brought both Mr. President and
the government to disrepute.
Again, it was found out that he was fond of inserting projects into
prominent persons’ constituencies without their knowledge to curry
favour and possibly use it as a means of blackmail against them when
One of such is the numerous projects he claimed in a Channels TV
interview in April 2016, to have cited in Mr. President’s home town of
Daura, Katsina State without Mr. President’s solicitation or knowledge,
in a desperate attempt to blackmail Mr. President as an answer and
justification for allocation of N4.1 billion to his constituency when
confronted by the interviewer.
He did not stop there. Hon Abdulmumin 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’s 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 Abdulmumin to expunge from the Budget what
he claimed he allocated to them since they did not solicit for those
To attempt to drag the name of Mr President, Honourable members and
others to his new low through sundry acts of blackmail was one of the
matters the House Leadership found off limits and totally unacceptable.
c. Unacceptable Mismanagement of the 2016 Budgetary Process:
i. It was also discovered that the former Chairman, Appropriations,
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.
ii. Furthermore, 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.
iii. 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
iv. For reasons that were not noble and not in the Public Interest, Hon
Abdulmumin had initially inflated the Budget by adding about N250b more
to the total figure as submitted by Mr President. This, the National
Assembly Leadership out rightly rejected as a form of financial
recklessness and inability to appreciate the dwindling resources
available to government necessitating that we act prudently. He was
directed therefore to make even further cuts below Mr Presidents total
v. Hon Abdulmumin, in his desperation to ingratiate himself into the
good books of the Presidency, unilaterally entered into commitments on
the structure of the Budget, without the knowledge of the National
Assembly Leadership, in the full knowledge, not only that he had no
authority to do so, but dishonestly had no intentions of keeping to
those commitments, having done the exact opposite in processing the
budget details. This brought the House into disrepute as it portrayed
the National Assembly and its leadership as persons who couldn’t keep
vi. He displayed crass ineptitude and general lack of capacity to handle
the work, thereby serving as a clog in the appropriations process. He
contributed significantly to the delays in the passage of the
Appropriation Bill. No one, not even his Deputy and Members of the
Appropriations Committee, could reach him at certain periods during the
Indeed on the last day of the exercise, he went underground to avoid
being compelled to show areas he had hidden most of the cuts he claimed
he made, an act which amounted to gross insubordination and an attempt
to hold captive, all involved in the budget chain to the point of
entirely frustrating the passage of the Budget.
The tripartite Committee of the Senate, House and Executive thus
completed the 2016 Budget without Hon Abdulmumin as he was hiding,
believing that the job could not be done without him.
vii. Confirming some of the reasons for his removal and true to type,
Hon Abdulmumin has since after his sack, resorted to blackmail, his
stock in trade. He has released documents from dubious sources in a
desperate bid to lure gullible members of the public to his side. Mr
Speaker’s inputs to the 2016 Budget was signed and delivered to him. If
he has honour, let him release the signed inputs of Mr Speaker and not
pieces of paper that bears no acknowledged authorship. Our counsel to
Hon Abdulmumin is for him to be real as a man by bringing up credible,
authentic and verifiable documents or stubborn facts which disclose the
commission of crime on the part of any Member or Leader of the House. If
he can’t, then let him go and sulk in secret over his sack.
3. LOSS OF CREDIBILITY:
a. It also came to the knowledge of Leadership that the allocations for
these developmental projects meant for the Appropriations and Finance
Committees’ members were neither disclosed nor properly and equitably
distributed by Hon. Jibrin to them which contributed to massive
agitations for his removal.
b. The Leadership was also in receipt of complaints about his activities
as Chair of Finance Committee in the 7th Assembly, which had potentials
to embarrass the House because of his current position as Chair of the
Appropriations Committee. Investigations found that from 2011 – 2015 Hon
Abdulmumin domiciled with Hadejia – Jama’are River Basin Authority and
few other MDAs some of the allocations meant for his former Finance
Committee members some of whom are still members of the 8th Assembly. He
was alleged to have aided the use of front companies that collected
funds without executing most of the projects. The Projects have been
compiled and will at the appropriate time be referred to the Anti Graft
Agencies to establish why the projects were fully paid for and not
executed, who collected the funds and why has Hon Abdulmumin not raised
any alarm about the non execution of the projects even now?
c. Twice, in Executive Sessions, members unanimously and vehemently
demanded that the Speaker remove Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin from the
Appropriations Committee for gross abuse of his position as
Chairman.However, the Speaker, tried to manage the situation but members
did not relent on their agitations for his removal not only for gross
abuse of his position but also for the poor and incompetent handling of
2016 appropriation process.
d. The Leadership also observed with embarrassment that since his
mismanagement of 2016 Budget process, every time Hon Abdulmumin gets up
to speak on the floor of the House, there was spontaneous chorus of ole!
ole,! ole! or thief! thief! thief! Barawo! Barawo! Barawo! from Hon.
members which climaxed in a motion to have him removed as Chairman,
e. It is regrettably true that Hon Abdulmumin was entrusted with
critical aspects of the budget, but he is not the sole author of the
budget as he appears to be portraying himself. Every reasonable person
knows that it is a bare faced lie. His stories without corroboration
from anyone who was deeply involved in the Budget process is, mere tales
by moon light, a fitting story for bed time. If he has any witness, let
them speak up in his support. Apparently, he doesn’t know that no one
can be convicted even in the court of public opinion based on the
evidence of one man.
4. ZONAL/CONSTITUENCY INTERVENTION PROJECTS IS NOT PADDING:
Zonal/Constituency Intervention Projects have their origins in
constitutional provisions as encapsulated in the Fundamental Objectives
and Directive Principles of State Policy requiring the government to
ensure equitable distribution of resources and infrastructure.
The idea of Zonal/Constituency Intervention projects arose as a result
of the need to carry every part of the country along in allocation of
projects in the budget, and to address the imbalance in line with
federal character principles as enshrined in the Constitution.
In recent years, there has always been standing lump sum allocation for
the implementation of Zonal/Constituency Intervention Projects in every
budget proposal from Mr. President including the 2016 budget, as
mutually agreed between the Executive and the Legislature.
The entire annual budget estimates once presented by Mr. President, is
referred to the Appropriations Committee for further legislative input
and scrutiny at the conclusion of the Second Reading.
While it is prerogative of National Assembly members to decide the
projects and their locations, it is the prerogative of the relevant MDAs
to choose the contractors, award the projects and to execute. For
emphasis, the general impression that monies are given to members of the
National Assembly to execute projects is incorrect and unfounded.
The allocation of the funds earmarked for Zonal/Constituency
intervention projects has customarily and traditionally been distributed
between the Senate and the House in the ratio of 40-60 as done in the
4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th Assemblies.
The leadership of both Chambers, including the Appropriations and
Finance Committees are normally and traditionally allocated certain
percentages of these funds, for inclusion in the Appropriation Bill for
projects. The remaining are distributed to members of the National
Assembly for inclusion of their preferred projects in the Budget. This
has also been the established tradition over the years.
For the avoidance of doubt, the 8th House of Representatives under the
leadership of Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has not deviated from established
practices, precedents and traditions in this matter.
It is necessary to emphasise that these budgetary allocations are meant
for developmental projects under the purview of these leaders in their
Constituencies and at other levels and not for their personal benefit.
And certainly they are not allocations of money or contracts! These
projects include roads, bridges, water supply, electricity, schools,
skill acquisitions etc. They are projects that can be located either in
the Exclusive Legislative List or Concurrent List.
It should be noted also that arising from oversight and House
Resolutions on specific critical needs, the Leadership is obliged to
accommodate some projects that may have been omitted or are not captured
in Mr. President’s proposal.
5. POWERS OF NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ON APPROPRIATION:
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
When therefore, the National Assembly appropriates funds in the budget,
it CAN NEVER under any circumstances or guise be deemed or regarded as
tinkering or padding.
The legislature is therefore constitutionally incapable of padding the budget.
What the Executive submits are mere estimates and proposal as stipulated
in Section 81 (1). It is obvious that the Constitution uses the word
ESTIMATES advisedly. Consequently, it is therefore an exhibition of
crass ignorance, abuse of language, outright mischief and or blackmail
for a legislator especially one who chaired the Appropriations Committee
to use the word PADDING to describe the action of parliament on the
The removal, introduction of projects or the amendment of Mr.
President’s estimates in the Appropriation Bill CANNOT AND SHOULD NEVER
BE CONSTRUED AS AN ACT OF CORRUPTION OR IMPROPRIETY because it is at the
core of appropriation powers of the National Assembly as aptly
enshrined in the 1999 Constitution. It is therefore clear, that no crime
or wrong doing can be legitimately imputed on the actions or conduct of
Mr. Speaker, the Leadership or Members of the House of Representatives
before, during and after the passage of the 2016 Appropriation Bill.
After the House Leadership reviewed all the issues raised above, it was
left with no option but to respect the wishes of the overwhelming
majority of Hon. Members to remove Hon Abdulmumin as Chairman,
Appropriations Committee of the House. It was clear to the entire
Leadership that in this government of change, Hon Abdulmumin lacks the
character and credentials to chair the House Committee on
I am aware that in accordance with the Rules of the House, this matter
will at the appropriate time go to the Committee on Ethics and
Privileges where Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin will be afforded the opportunity
of fair hearing.