Budget Padding Latest: Police To Summon Dogara, Others

The Special Investigation Panel probing the budget padding allegations is set for fresh invitations to the House of Reps Speaker, Yakubu Dogara and other principal officers named in the scandal.

It was said that the panel, headed by retired Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Ali Amodu would send the invitations as the National Assembly resume this week.

Police sources said that the SIP had covered a lot of ground in its quest to expose the culprits behind the alleged padding of N280bn in the 2016 budget.

The former Chairman, House Appropriation Committee, Abdulmumin Jibrin, had in a petition asked the police to investigate the alleged padding of the budget by Dogara and other principal officers.

Those indicted by Jibrin included Deputy Speaker, Mr. Lasun Yussuff; the Chief Whip, Mr. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa; and the Minority Leader, Mr. Leo Ogor.

Jibrin appeared before the panel investigating his petition with documents to back his allegations, but the speaker and others mentioned did not honour the police invitation.

The ex-appropriation committee boss had also submitted a petition against the accused to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, urging the agencies to probe the principal officers.

A source however told Punch that the police would issue fresh invitations to all the officers, stressing that the men must come and defend themselves.

He said, “The fact is that the house officers, including the speaker, have no immunity against investigation or prosecution; anybody could be investigated including governors and the President.

“The immunity of the governors and the President does not preclude investigation. It only protects them while in office, but once they are out of office, they could be prosecuted.

“The panel has covered a lot of ground with the documents at its disposal, and it will invite the men (lawmakers) when they are ready to interrogate them and anyone who fails to show up has tacitly admitted that he is guilty of the allegations against him.”

It was also disclosed that the panel would not let up on the National Assembly Clerk, Mohammed Sani-Omolori, till he submitted the draft and final copies of the 2016 budget to detectives.