Sen. Shehu Sani (APC-Kaduna) has expressed support for the move by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the alleged padding of the 2016 budget.
Sani, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign and Domestic Debts, said this at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja on Wednesday.
It will be recalled that the EFCC commenced a formal investigationinto the allegations.
The anti-graft body requested the Ministry of Budget and National Planning to provide a copy of the 2016 budget submitted to the National Assembly by the Presidency and the final copy returned by the National Assembly.
Sani said that although the National Assembly has its internal mechanism of addressing such a matter, the EFCC could also discharge its duties.
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“We are independent organ of parliament, we have the right to investigate issues that happen within National Assembly but we are also not a crime enforcement agency.
“The National Assembly can do its work and the anti- corruption body can do its work; there is nothing wrong in that.
“The controversy in House of Representatives is getting Nigerians to be more conscious of what is happening in National Assembly.’’
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According to him, the Dogara-Abdulmumini case is something, I believe, good for democracy in the sense that you must not use the National Assembly as a ground for impoverishing other people.
“I am elected and you are elected and now you tell me that you are going to have more projects than I do, that is not going to work.
“In fact, the public coming to know what is happening in the National Assembly will help the new people like us who came in with fire-brand activism into the place.
“So, padding is a reality but if it is done within the agreement between the National Assembly and the executive arm; it falls within the line of legislative duty.
“But if it was done for the sake of seeking advantage by the person who did it, then that is a crime.’’ (NAN)