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Budget Padding: Minority Leader Threatens Legal Action

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Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Leo Ogor, has threatened legal action against the former Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin.

Jibrin has maintained that Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, his Deputy; Yusuf Lasun; Chief Whip; Alhassan Ado Danguwa and Minority Leader, Leo Ogor attempted to insert about N42bn into the 2016 budget.

Speaking at Oleh, Isoko South Local Government Area, Delta State, the lawmaker representing Isoko federal constituency, said “I did not pad any budget. I introduced projects in line with allocation of N1.4 billion given to me for my constituency.”

 “I want to tell you that from 1999 till date, 40 percent of that money which is N40 billion, is now like a convention, a practice, a clear procedure that the principal officers and the leadership; that is the presiding and the principal gets N40 billion.

“When we talk of N40 billion, it is not as if it is a cash sum given to us to put in our pocket. How it is shared is a subject that the House can discuss internally, now out of that money, by the special grace of God, I was made a principal officer and I had N1.4 billion.

“I am not a member of the Appropriation Committee, I am not even a member of the ad-hoc committee set up by the House and the Senate to review the budget, because Mr. President rejected the budget and brought it back to the National Assembly for us to review.

“The House and the Senate set up an ad-hoc committee led by the Deputy Speaker and the Senate leader. I was not there because I said I won’t be a part of such an arrangement.

 “I was not part and parcel of it, so I really don’t know how my name keeps ringing bell all over the place. My hands are very clean. I did not do anything that I consider illegal.

“What I did was to introduce projects in various communities that borders on communities where they have problems with their hospitals, communities where the children cannot write their JAMB because of these new computer centres, then try to introduce some new computer centres which I consider to be the right of these children.

“They are the future leaders of this country. If providing these infrastructures is what some persons call budget padding, let me be held responsible for budget padding, because it is in the interest of my people,” Ogor said.

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