The Body of Principal Officers of the House of Representatives said on Thursday that the decision to sack its former Chairman, Committee on Appropriation, Mr. Abdulmumin Jibrin, was endorsed by the group.
They said Jibrin was sacked in response to agitation by the majority of members after they discovered that he abused the 2016 budget and that the budget would have suffered more abuse had the document remained with the former chairman.
They explained that Ministries, Departments and Agencies had complained of being harassed by Jibrin.
They are Dogara; Deputy Speaker, Yussuff Lasun; Majority Leader, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila; Chief Whip, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa; Deputy Leader, Buba Jibril; Deputy Whip, Pally Iriase; Minority Leader, Leo Ogor; Deputy Minority Leader, Chukwuka Onyeama; Deputy Minority Leader, Yakubu Barde; and Deputy Minority Whip, Binta Bello-Maigeri.
The statement reads in part, “The proponent (of budget-padding), the recently sacked Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin, sought to make allegations of impropriety against the leadership of the House over the process and content of the 2016 budget passed by the National Assembly and signed into law.
“While the leadership is determined to ensure that absolute diligence, maturity and due process are employed in dealing with the allegations, instead of joining the accuser in a press war, it is important to state, in the interest of the agitated public, that the allegations are wild, baseless and unfounded.
“In the meantime, however, the leadership of the House of Representatives wishes to reaffirm that it took collective action, in conjunction with the Senate and a team from the Executive, to rescue the 2016 Budget when it became obvious that the former appropriation Chairman had placed both the document and the process in jeopardy resulting in a spate of agitation from Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
“Furthermore, the decision to relieve the erstwhile Appropriation Chairman of his position was a collective decision of the leadership in response to unrelenting pressures from the overwhelming majority of Honourable members who were irked by the former Chairman’s gross abuse of the budget process.
“Both actions were taken in the best interest of the institution and the nation for which we take full responsibility.
“Truth may be slow but it usually always wins the race in the end. We have no doubts.”