The Speaker of the House of Representatives in
Nigeria, Mr Yakubu Dogara, says he will not resign
despite allegations of budget padding against him.
Mr Dogara made the statement after a meeting with
President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday.
Dogara, who visited President Muhammadu Buhari
yesterday, first feigned ignorance of the term,
budget padding. But he later said it constituted no
offence under the law.
The Speaker, who has come under pressure in
some quarters to resign since the allegations were
made, was at the Presidential Villa apparently to
explain his own side of the story to President
Their meeting lasted about 30 minutes.
What informed your visit?
Dogara: Can’t I come and see my President? Do I
need any reason to come and see my President?
It’s a private visit.
Was the issue of alleged budget padding
Dogara: What is budget padding?
The language emanated from your chambers
Dogara: I don’t know, educate me. I am a lawyer
and speaker and I have never heard of the word
padding. What does padding mean?
The former chairman of the Appropriation
Committee said you padded the budget
Dogara: Ask him. He who alleges must prove.
That’s the law in Nigeria
Are you not going to defend yourself?
Dogara: Am I before a court?
There are people saying you should reconvene the
House before the September resumption time and
step aside for a thorough investigation
Dogara: We have rules and regulations. This is not
a mock institution, we operate by the rules and we
will follow the rules.
Will you resign?
Dogara: Resign for what?
Dogara: What are the allegations?
That you and some members of the leadership
padded the budget .
Dogara: What is padding? You haven’t told me.
Ask Jibrin what is padding. I studied law and I
have been in the legislature and all this period I
have never heard of the word padding being an
offence under any law. If I don’t know, you are the
media, research the law and let me know.
Are you worried?
Dogara: Worried for what? Worried over nothing,
why should I be worried? As far as I am concerned
I’m not worried about anything.
Will there be sanctions for Jibrin?
Dogara: I am not the chairman of the Ethics
Committee of the House, so I wouldn’t know and I
don’t know what padding means.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) to which
Dogara and Jibrin belong has ordered the ex-
Appropriation Committee chair to stop speaking on
the allegations “as they are embarrassing.”
The party’s Deputy National Chairman (North),
Senator Lawal Shaibu, in an August 4 letter said
Jibrin should desist from issuing further
“statements through the social media or other
means of transmitting an opinion on the matter to
the public, as the party is looking into it towards
finding a solution.”