Budget Padding Scandal: Dogara, Others Must Step Aside Now – CNPP Demands

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**Vows to Mobilise Nigerians to Occupy NASS

The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has demanded that
Hon. Yakubu Dogara and other principal officers of the House of
Representatives, who were named in the budget padding and abuse of
office allegation by their colleague must step aside to allow the
House and security agencies to investigate the matter.

The decision was taken at a meeting by the national leadership of the
umbrella body of all political parties in Nigeria, which held in Abuja
on Tuesday, following its independent investigation into the matter.

CNPP, in a statement jointly signed by its National Chairman, Alhaji
Balarabe Musa and the Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu at the end
of the meeting, vowed “to mobilise Nigerians to occupy the National
Assembly if the Speaker and his accused colleagues refuse to listen to
the voice of reason.”

The body maintained that “It is out of place for the House leadership
to continue to be the Judge in their own case”.

The statement added: “The best way to lay to rest the budget padding
allegation is for the Speaker and the principal officers of the House
to step aside. Anyone whose hands are clean should not be afraid to
submit himself or herself for investigation.

“To us, the budget fraud allegation running into billions of naira is
grave enough for the leadership of the House of Representatives to
disqualify itself from presiding over the House to allow for internal
self-cleansing and to give room to the security agencies to do a
thorough job.

“We are amazed that the House leadership has remained adamant even
when the integrity of the entire House of Representatives is at stake.

“We, therefore, demand that the leadership of the House of
Representatives step aside and allow a full scale investigation of the
alleged budget fraud and abuse of office by relevant security
agencies.

“It is true that the House leadership has denied the allegations but
our findings, after CNPP investigated the matter, show that they have
a case to answer.

“It is out of place for the House leadership to continue to be the
Judge in their own case as they have continued to occupy their
positions despite the lingering allegation that has now gotten to a
deafening level.

“We shall be left with no option than to mobilise Nigerians to occupy
the National Assembly if the Speaker and his accused colleagues refuse
to listen to the voice of reason and tow the path of honour”, the CNPP
vowed.

Recall that the former chairman of the House Appropriations Committee,
Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin, had before the House went on the recess,
alleged that Dogara and other lawmakers were involved in budget fraud
and abuse of office, which became known as budget padding scandal.

Jibrin was later removed as the Appropriation Committee chairman by the Speaker.

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