‘Budget signed by Buhari not padded’

Members of the Gombe State Caucus of the House of Representatives on Thursday disassociated themselves from the allegations of “budget padding”, which the former Chairman, Committee on Appropriation, Mr. Abdulmumin Jibrin, made against the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, and three other principal officers.

The other three are the Deputy Speaker, Mr. Yussuff Lasun ; the Chief Whip, Mr. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa; and the Minority Leader, Mr. Leo Ogor.

The caucus said the 2016 Appropriation Act was duly signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari, and could no longer be described as padded.

It noted that it was “criminal” and “illegal” for anybody to call an exiting law a padded law.

“Failure to even implement any part of the Act is an illegality.

“Mr. President himself, who signed the Act, knows it. The only way anything can be dropped from that Act is by referral to the same National Assembly to make any changes”, one of the members of the caucus, Mr. Yunusa Ahmad-Abubakar, told a news conference in Abuja.

The caucus, which is made up six members, expressed surprise that Jibrin would describe a law as padded soon after he was sacked “over the offence of unlawfully inflating the budget in his own favour.”

The group also stated that the letters Jibrin released to the public were responses to requests he sent to members asking them to nominate projects that they wished to be included in the budget for their constituencies.

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