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Budget Padding: Speaker Dogara Fails To Honor Police Call

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Hon Yakubu Dogara, Speaker of the House of Representative has shunned the invitation of the police Special Investigation Panel over allegations of budget padding.

According to a popular daily, the Speaker did not honour the police invitation because the letter was not signed by the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.

A letter to Dogara by the panel had earlier requested him and others mentioned in the petition to appear before it last Friday.

Dogara, however, did not honour the invitation. He rather met with President Muhammadu Buhari over the budget crisis on Friday.

Dogara’s accuser and a former House Appropriation Chairman, Abdulmumin Jibrin appeared before the panel last week Friday and on Tuesday but Dogara and other principal officers however shunned it.

Jibrin had earlier submitted a petition against the accused to the police, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, urging the agencies to probe them.

He had also visited the police last Wednesday with documents to back up his claims.

It was however gathered on Wednesday that the police invitation was regarded as an “informal invitation.”

A committee chairman close to Dogara who spoke on condition of anonymity told the popular daily that although an invitation was sent to the Speaker last week by the police, the document was “considered to be informal because it was signed by a low-ranking officer.”

He went further and said, “The Speaker is the number four citizen of this country.

“If you are sending a formal letter to him, there should be a signature of the Inspector-General of Police on it.”

Donald Awunah, the Force Public Relations Officer, said he could not comment because he did not know anything about the investigation.

“I don’t know about the investigation, so I can’t comment,” he said.

Some members of the House of Representative however took another dimension when they said that the Police and EFCC probe is illegal.

They said that the position on the budget padding allegations by Jibrin on Wednesday, declaring that neither the police nor the EFCC had the power to investigate legislative proceedings.

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