Budget padding scandal: Presidency Silence Jibrin …Says “padding” strange to legislative lexicon
The widely propagated allegation of budget padding against the Speaker of the House of Representatives Honourable Yakubu Dogara and three other Principal Officers by the ousted Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, Honourable Jibrin Abdulmuminin has on Tuesday rubbished by the Presidency.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on the Senate matters, Sen. Ita Enag, while Speaking to journalists at the national secretariat of APC after a closed door meeting with the party leadership that lasted for over three hours insisted that the presidency does not know anything about the trending padding allegation.
He said: “We are here on the invitation of the party leadership of the APC with my colleague to bring answers to issues raised by the party from the 2016 Appropriation and we have been with the party for a little over three hours and we have given explanation on every issue that there was nothing, to our knowledge, no padding of the budget.
“The budget as assented to by Mr. President is the budget as passed by the National Assembly and that is the budget been executed.
“But as at now the party is handling it as a domestic issue, and all of us are enjoined not to make public comment on the details of it because the matter is still under consideration. So that is what we will want to say for now, we will not want to go into the details of it so that we will not breach the ethics of the party, the directives of the party or pre-empt everything, any outcome by the party.
Enang, who came to APC secretariat in company of his colleague, Senior Special Assistant to the President on House of Reps Hon. Ismail Kawu further explained that “I will want to say that we came here as persons who work as liaison officers on the budget and the party had questions for us to make clarifications and we have made those clarifications to the party. We would not want to draw any conclusion. Please let us not go too far and mentioning any office. Let it be that two of us have appeared before the party.”
“In all our years of legislative engagement, we are yet to find in the legislative lexicon the word ‘padding’. When the budget is presented before the legislature, the legislature is to consider the budget and pass as they deem fit. So what the legislature pass becomes the appropriation upon accent. Therefore, any word which is yet to crystalize in legislative lexicon, you cannot hear us mention it.”