Budget Padding: How FG plans to deal with Dogara, others
Vanguard learned from competent sources close to the matter that the Federal Government has unleashed its agents to shop for credible evidence of criminal adulteration of the budget that would make it difficult for any of the key suspects to escape prosecution.
It was reliably gathered that the recent move by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to painstakingly scrutinise major contracts so far awarded by the Dogara-led House, was to establish whether public funds have been illegally funnelled back to him and his allies as alleged by sacked House Appropriation Chairman, Abdulmumuni Jibrin.
Under the plan obtained by Vanguard, the Federal Government is to promptly charge the major suspects to court as it did to the Senate President when he was accused of not properly declaring his assets.
“It is true they will give Dogara the Saraki treatment, especially for telling the whole world that padding is legal within the Nigerian law and that nobody can try him for the offence,” a source familiar with the matter said.
According to the source, the government will not join issues with Dogara and any of the officers of the NASS over budget padding but will ‘unfailingly and promptly’ act on the outcome of the police report on the matter once it is ready.
“It is the court that will determine whether it is right for anyone to insert a project that was not contemplated by the Executive that has the right to propose budget and move the money to certain agency of government, with a view to drawing it for personal gain,” the source said.
“As an officer in the Temple of Justice, Dogara not only owes unalloyed allegiance to the judiciary but also the institutions of law enforcement,” Mr. Dogara said in a statement signed by his media aide, Turaki Hassan.
“He (Dogara) indeed swore to an Oath of Allegiance to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the source said.
The Speaker had come under criticism for claiming to be above scrutiny over the padding scandal, forcing some groups to ask him to resign, a move he rejected outrightly.
“Dogara should not be portrayed as insensitive or arrogant as this is contrary to his true nature of humility and humaneness that has endeared him to his colleagues and Nigerians,” the speaker said