Jibrin Reveals Who is Dogara’s Political Godfather
A former Chairman, Appropriations Committee of the House of Representatives, Abdumumin Jibrin, on Saturday said a former deputy governor of Osun state, Iyiola Omisore, is the ‘godfather’ of Speaker Yakubu Dogara.
In a letter addressed to the Chairman of the APC, John Oyegun, Jibrin said he made “an error of judgement’ in supporting Dogara to be the Speaker.
Jibrin said his relationship with Dogara began to suffer when he started getting reports of the Speaker’s alleged “corrupt practises.”
“We practically disagreed on almost everything.
“His godfather is Sen Iyola Omisore. Speaker Dogara is of the habit of taking standing committee chairmen to swear oath of allegiance before Omisore.
“During the build up to the appointment of committee chairmen, I had a terrible disagreement with him. I stayed far away from him.
“Who will I tell or run to having played such a leading role in bringing him on board? He operates alone, keep weird relationships with top politicians.
“I was in London when he insisted that he wanted to see me. He came to my hotel room and we talked for hours. I gave him a lot of advice, but I never knew it was getting in from one ears and out from the other,” Jibrin said.
Efforts to reach Omisore on Sunday night failed as calls made to his mobile number did not go through, while he had yet to respond to a text message sent by our correspondent.
The lawmaker added that Dogara was disloyal to the APC and predicted that he would soon plan an attack on the ruling party.
The lawmaker, who recalled “the leading role” he played in the emergence of Dogara, the Deputy Speaker, Lasun Yussuff and the House Chief Whip, Alhassan Doguwa in the current offices they occupy in the House, described the Speaker as “a green snake under green grass.”
Jibrin said, “The role I played, to the best of my conscience at then, sir, was patriotic. I analysed the two candidates (Dogara and Femi Gbajabiamila, who is not the Majority Leader of the House) and felt Speaker Dogara had a better temperament to make a good Speaker.
“It was a narrow line of thinking, an error of judgement. It took only few weeks after the election for me to realise the … inside the skin of Speaker Dogara. That was when I started getting reports of his … practices for many years in the House undetected. I fell apart will Speaker Dogara instantly. Contrary to public belief, we have never been close since few weeks after he emerged Speaker.
“We practically disagreed on almost everything. From the appointment of committee chairmen, to splitting of committees, to nondisclosure of the finances of the House, to his greed of unifying everything under his control, commercialisation of bills, divisive approach across ethnic and religious line, arrogance and power drunk, during the budget period among many others. But who will I tell or run to having played such a leading role in bringing him on board.”
The lawmaker said it was “a painful, frustrating and depressing period” for him.
“I wish to state that I deeply regret the role I played in the emergence of Yakubu Dogara as Speaker. I seek the understanding and forgiveness from you, our leaders and every member of the APC family that was hurt by my action. Thank God Almighty, I am young and energetic. I will be 40 on September 9th. I promise that moving forward, I will dedicate and completely commit myself to achieving the goals set out by the party. This case should serve as a lesson for everyone in the future,” Jibrin said.
The lawmaker stated that he had not abused his office but his offence was that he refused to be used in the House.
“I am pretty sure the anti-corruption agencies will do their job and all our party men and women will know the truth at the end of the day. My offence has been my refusal to be used as conduit to facilitate free flow of corruption in the House of Representatives. I came under severe pressure during the budget period to break procedures and commit fraudulent actions.
“When they could not use me, the Speaker (allegedly) connived with few committee chairmen and they opened a bazaar of corrupt insertions into the budget. I complained to the Speaker but he took no action, only for me to discover later that he, his deputy, whip and minority leader were (allegedly) indeed the ring leaders of that …cabal in the House. All they wanted was to do away with me, considered the obstacle.
According to Jibrin, problem started when President Muhammadu Buhari returned the budget. He alleged that when he was invited to a meeting of principal officers, the Speaker denied he knew anything about the insertions.
“Jibrin said he had decided to “capture properly” his allegations against Dogara and 12 others in the letter “so that you will understand the gravity of the matter at hand and also understand that the allegations are beyond budget issues and includes tens of other criminal allegations that cannot be swept under the carpet.”
The lawmaker reminded Odigie-Oyegun that the world was watching how the APC would deal with the issue of “incontrovertible corruption in high places.”
He said, “Here, you have a golden opportunity to show the world that there is zero tolerance for corruption in our great party, the APC. Even more is the having a serving member that understands this issue in my person, who has offered to stand as witness and provide every support to the anti-curruption agencies to investigate the allegations thoroughly and commence prosecution in earnest.
“There is no better way of demonstrating our commitment to the fight against corruption than to use Speaker Yakubu Dogara and the 12 others as example…”
Efforts to get Dogara to react to the allegations raised against him by Jibrin in the letter failed on Sunday night.
The Special Adviser to the Speaker on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Turaki Hassan, did not respond to enquiries made by The PUNCH.
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