EFCC Set To Investigate Dogara, 30 Others

By Ikenga Chronicles November 5, 2016

EFCC Set To Investigate Dogara, 30 Others

Yakubu Dogara may be facing one of his biggest hurdles as a lawmaker since assuming the position of the speaker of the House of Representatives as emerging reports reveal that the Economic and Financial crimes Commission (EFCC) is requesting for his asset declaration form and those of 30 other lawmakers.

This came against the backdrop of Dogara’s –who, against all odds won the speakership race over the party’s preferred candidate, Femi Gbajabiamila– war with his one-time biggest confidant and supporter, Abdulmumuni Jibrin over allegations bothering on budget padding amongst others.

According to an online portal, Sahara Reporters, the anti-graft agency has requested the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to release the asset declaration form of Dogara for proper scrutiny and investigation.

The sudden investigation according to high profile sources is connected to the sweeping allegations made by Jibril, accusing Dogara and the House leadership of padding the 2016 budget.

Dogara, according to Jibrin “abused his office by unilaterally taking away N40 billion allocated for constituency projects alongside his deputy, Yussuf Lasun, Minority Leader, Leo Ogor and Chief Whip, Al-Hassan Ado Doguwa without the approval of the House adding that he and other 12 lawmakers made illegal insertions and allocations into the 2016 budget to the tune of N284 billion”.

Details and documents relating to the alleged fraud were thrown into the public space by Abdulmumin Jibrin, a lawmaker from Kano State who ceased being a House Committee chairman amidst disputed circumstances on allegations that he committed serial betrayal of trust against the House leadership and members.

Jibrin, however, denied the allegations, and immediately launched political and media campaigns to have Dogara and others removed from their positions.

Dogara and other lawmakers accused of engineering “pervasive corruption” in the House denied all charges against them, saying Jibrin was acting out of vindictiveness.

As of Friday, November 4, it was learnt that the EFCC sent requests to the Code of Conduct Bureau requesting the asset declaration forms of more than 30 members of the House of Representatives involved in corruptly padding the 2016 national budget.

The EFCC’s requests are a critical part of investigations by the anti-corruption agency into the role played by key members of the lower legislative body in the massive padding of last year’s national budget.

Two officials at the Code of Conduct Bureau disclosed anonymously that, ‘’instead of releasing the forms to the EFCC as prescribed by law and the bureau’s operational guidelines, some CCB staffers were calling up legislators who are targets of the EFCC requests to reveal what the EFCC was up to.’’

One of the two sources maintained that some of the top CCB leaders were so corrupt that they sometimes help public officials who are under investigation for corruption to change their asset declaration forms.

“Once some serving or retired politicians and other public officers are exposed or under pressure, the leadership of this bureau assists them to alter their asset declaration forms,” this source said. “This enables the said officials [to] wriggle out of trouble,” he added.

Emerging reports revealed that Dogara, was furious when he was informed that agents of the EFCC were asking for his and other legislators’ asset declaration forms. An EFCC source said Dogara was already making moves to prevail on the EFCC to back off from investigating the budget padding scandal.

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