It Makes No Sense for EFCC, ICPC to Probe Budget Padding Scandal – Dogara
Speaker of the federal house of representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, on Thursday, dismissed efforts being made by the nation’s anti-graft agencies to probe the budget padding scandal rocking the national assembly.
Dogara who spoke at a ‘Civil Society Dialogue Session’ in Abuja on the ‘One Year of the Legislative Agenda of the 8th House’ stated that all actions taken by the lawmakers on the Appropriation Act, fell under legislative privileges.
Punch reports that the speaker equally described everyone who joined erstwhile appropriation committee chairman, Hon Abdulmumin Jibrin, to accuse him of padding the budget, as lacking in understanding of the powers of the legislature on appropriation.
Citing provisions of the Legislative Houses Powers and Privileges Act, Speaker Dogara maintained that a legislator was empowered to make any law, including the Appropriation Act, without being called to question.
“The budget being a law, therefore, means it is only the parliament that can make it. I challenge all of us in the media and civil society organisations to look at our law and state where it is written that the President can make a budget,” he said.
He added, “If you contend that we cannot tinker with the Appropriation Bill, even though it is a money bill, it therefore goes without saying that we cannot tinker with any Executive Bill.”
Referring to efforts by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the police and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to investigate the budget padding scandal, Dogara said:
“It doesn’t make sense. They have forgotten about the Legislative Houses Powers and Privileges Act, sections 24, 30 and others, which state that most of the things we do in the National Assembly are privileged.
“They cannot be grounds for any investigation into the procedures or proceedings against a member of parliament; either the Speaker or the President of the Senate; once they are done in the exercise of their proper functions.”
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has stated that it would not punish members of the party involved in the budget padding scandal.
The APC deputy national chairman (North), Lawal Shuaibu, told newsmen at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja on Thursday, that although the party would not sweep the budget padding scandal under the carpet, it would not make details of its investigations into the matter open to the public.
ENJOY FREE CONTENTS FROM US
IN YOUR EMAIL
Breaking News, Events, Music & More
Thank you for subscribing.
Something went wrong.