I’m not involved in budget padding, says Ogor


The Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Leo Ogor, has said that the budget padding allegations leveled against him and other principal officers were outright lies.
Ogor, in a telephone interview with our correspondent, said all the allegations by the former chairman of the Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin, were mere lies to tarnish their image and cause a fresh crisis in the House.
Jibrin had recently publicly asked himself, the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara; his deputy, Yusuf Lasun and Chief Whip, Ado Doguwa, to resign for alleged budget padding and illegally inserting projects worth over N20 billion for their constituencies in the 2016 budget.
He had alleged that his refusal to inject another N30 billion into the budget for the speaker earned him the sack.
But Ogor questioned why Jibrin had to wait until now to make the allegations, saying the matter would be thrashed out when the House resumed.
He said, “I don’t want to go into altercation with anybody. At the appropriate time, when we resume on the floor, we will speak. But I can assure you that they are all bunch of lies and there is nothing to it. So, I am not going to waste my time responding to an issue I consider totally inconsequential.
“Mr. Jibrin was aggrieved because he lost his place in the House Committee on Appropriation. You can read the lines; he has actually lost his committee and I believe that is the issue. Why didn’t he make available these allegations all along? This is the question you need to answer. How come he was the one that addressed the issue of this budget on television and he accused the Presidency and the Executive in respect of issues that bear on the budget. Today, he is singing a different tune, and I think he is good at singing different tunes, anyway.”
The Reps Minority Leader further challenged the lawmaker to prove the allegations he had levelled against him and the other principal officers of the House.