Corruption: Jibrin defends Obasanjo, says ex-president's comment about NASS members is very true
Suspended lawmaker, Abdulmumin Jibrin, has defended former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who at a public lecture in Lagos on Wednesday November 23rd, described the National Assembly as a den of robbers. In this statement, Jibrin said Obasanjo's comment about members of the House is very true. He also took a swipe at the Chairman of the House Committee o Media and Publicity, who at a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday November 24th, described President Obasanjo as the grandfather of corruption. Read the full statement below:
"When the whole country is commending former president Obasanjo for his characteristically blunt and honest statements on the National Assembly, only the shameless Speaker Dogara and his corrupt cabal in the House of Representatives can use their chief propagandist the naive, inexperience, corrupt and poorly trained chairman of the House media committee to make a fool of the House for the umpteenth times by throwing all sort of venoms yet failing flat to address the allegations with facts and figures.
It is a time many Nigerians expect that in the face of such glaring facts of budget fraud and massive corruption, the House under Speaker Dogara will at best keep quite, go into sober reflection, act decisively on allegations of budget fraud and internal corruption and commence implementing reforms urgently to sanitize the House and it's processes. But alas, the House will want to grand stand, to prove what? Even if Obasanjo did not speak out, he has severally anyway, do they think Nigerians are not aware of the dark story of the green chamber?
I wish to state categorically clear as a cognate member with a deep inside knowledge of the House having served as Chairman finance and Later Appropriation committee simultaneously that all what former president Obasanjo said is TRUE. It amazes me that only Speaker Dogara and his cohorts like Namdas seems not to realize that Nigerians are fully aware of the monumental budget fraud and corruption in the House.
It is also important to state clearly that the ill intended and fraudulent statements usually dished out by Namdas are not a representation of majority members of the House. I know for sure that severally members have expressed deep anger over statements released by Namdas purportedly on their name. The fact is that, the Speaker and his corrupt cabal usually dictates to Namdas what to say or write without seeking consensus of members. And in many of such instances they apologize after using the House as an institution to perpetrate the nonsense. This must stop!
Let me respond specifically to some of the assertions of Namdas in his response to former president Obasanjo
POWERS OF APPROPRIATION
Namdas gave the impression that because the House has powers of Appropriation no offense can be committed by it as far as the national budget is concern. This is FALSE! No one is contesting that the House has powers of Appropriation but what we are saying is that the powers have been used severally over the years to commit budget fraud running into billions.
I as a former Chairman of the two most important committees as far as appropriation matters are concern is saying the House under Speaker Dogara has used her powers of appropriation to commit budget fraud never seen in the history of the National Assembly. I have released to the public instances of such budget fraud.
I have provided sufficient evidence to the security and anti graft agencies and I have indicated my readiness to stand as witness in case of prosecution. The assertion that since the budget has been signed no offense could have been committed or impossible to carry out prosecution Is also mischievous and wicked.
All they are trying to do in their usual style is to blackmail the executive arm to take responsibility for what is an obvious offense committed by Speaker Dogara, Lasun, Doguwa, Ogor and few others. On constituency projects, the mess there is just too much. All the anti graft agencies need to do is to go and investigate only the 2015 SDG projects where about 10 billion naira was budgeted and see where that will lead them. It has remain a huge scandal in the House but no body will talk because it is a system of "chop clean mouth"
INSUFFICIENT ALLOCATION TO NASS
Namdas lacked the institutional knowledge to comment on issues like this. What does he know about allocations to the House? Statutory allocations to NASS rose from about 40 billion in 2006 to 150 billion in 2011 and 120biliion in 2015 then 115 billion naira in 2016. The problem is not that the money is insufficient to run the entire activities of NASS and even more but the truth of the matter is that about half the money is stolen in the name of running cost through an extremely and stinkingly fraudulent system designed by Speaker Dogara in collusion with some private entities when he was Chairman House services committee in the 6th Assembly. He remained the custodian and supervisor of the scam again as chairman House services in the 7th Assembly and yet again wrath it up as Speaker in the 8th Assembly.
The NASS has received about 1 thrillion naira since 2006 and about 500 billion naira has gone DIRECTLY into private pockets through the fraud called running cost. I have received briefing from my lawyers in london that such scams equals a crime against humanity and there are laws in America and Europe that allows the FBI and INTERPOL to deal with such cases at the international level so that the culprits who created the scam can be prosecuted.
Even after stealing about half the allocation, the spending of the remaining balance is done in secrecy. No member have access to copies of the internal budget of the House to see how the remaining money is spent after deducting the fraudulent running cost.
How much is being spent on the institutions like NILS and NABRO? And how much is paid as salaries to general staff? How much is paid to legislative aides most of who are ghost staff? Yes ghost staff! How much is spent on public hearings? Namdas should release the figures if he wants to be taken serious.
Even the construction of permanent site of NILS which should be from NASS allocation only is part funded under capital supplementation in the service wide vote! As Chairman Finance, I have had instances where I gave money to NABRO from my pocket because they are so badly funded. What nonsense is Namdas talking about? The House should be ashamed of itself that it knows details of budget of the executive arm including wage bill but it cannot simply let the world know the details of its own budget. What a fraud! What a shame!! Yet you have the guts to address the press and throw abuses!
RUNNING COST ALLOWANCES
I stand by my statement that each member collects about 10million naira monthly and between 10 to 20 million naira was collected in the past. Namdas would have made matter easy for the entire country and the anti corruption agencies by simply telling us how much each member earns including such random millions of naira that we are just asked to give account numbers and the next thing you see alerts!
o body is saying the members do not need running cost for their offices, what we are saying is that the amount is diverted directly into private pockets. More so, the amount is too much compare to the level of productivity and our economic reality.
Yes Chief Executives of government parastatals buy tickets and get allowances for accommodation on official assignments but the case against the House which Namdas did not address is that such money in the case of the House are diverted into private use. To further prove my case, iam calling on the DSS, Police, EFCC and ICPC to arrest Hon Abdulrazak Namdas and ask him to produce his running cost statement of account.
The whole country will freeze with the discovery! Let's see if he can continue to address press conferences and insult the sensitivity of Nigerians.