Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara has addressed allegations of budget padding levelled against him and three other leaders of the House by former Chairman of the House Appropriation Committee, Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin.
He addressed the issue in a biography written in conjunction with Ovation Publisher, Dele Momodu.
In the biography – A Reed in the Flint – scheduled to be released later in the year but a copy of which was made available to The Cable, Dogara said it was against his nature to interfere with processes and therefore did not engage in padding of the budget.
Dogara said, “My kind of nature is not the kind that insists on breathing down your neck, having given you an assignment.
“So, attempting to interfere in everything committees are doing was not my line. I believe in giving everyone considered competent enough to handle posts to thrive in them.
“I don’t believe in making my colleagues feel distrusted. I give you that freedom to do your work. Having trusted you, I will not bother you too much. I never went to Jibrin to ask for anything in the budget. Never! Even once!
“Occasionally both leadership of the Senate and the House would meet and ask [Danjuma] Goje [Chairman of the Senate Appropriation Committee] and Jibrin to give the position of things, how discussions on the 2016 Budget were going on, how they were doing and so on and so forth.
“But I gave him absolute free hand to operate. He did that up to a point that the Budget was written and compiled I hadn’t seen anything.
“I didn’t know what was there. As a matter of fact I didn’t even know the kind of projects that he has included for me or any other person in the Budget.
“I was even in London when they submitted the details to the President for his assent. It was only after I got back home that Jibrin brought the details of the budget to me for the very first time.
“Absolutely, I had no hand, no prior meeting with the committee. I didn’t sit with them at the secretariat to say ‘Oh, include these projects for me. You must do this. You must do that.’ Never! Even for a day.”