Obasanjo is happy I exposed Dogara – Jibrin

The former Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin, tells JOHN ALECHENU how lawmakers commit budget fraud, the reason he is tackling principal officers of the House and his relationship with Speaker Yakubu Dogara and Majority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila

Some have claimed that your anti-corruption crusade against the House of Representatives is an attempt by you to settle a score with Speaker Yakubu Dogara, who used to be your ally. Is that correct?

If it was a quarrel that had led to the exposures of the monumental ills going on in the House of Representatives – theft of our collective wealth; abuse of office and trust; and massive budget fraud – then, Nigerians should pray even harder for this kind of personal fights to happen daily. I think people are not being fair. Instead of them to concentrate on the gravity of the allegations that I have made, somebody is asking why I am exposing the ills in the House. Why I started that is no longer relevant. Nigerians forget things easily. I have been in this struggle for five years. I was Chairman, House Committee on Finance – why are people not making reference to what I said back then? All the problems that are being discussed today were raised between 2011 and 2015. Many people lose their jobs and keep quiet. I won’t keep quiet. When you see somebody talking like this, then most likely, this is what he has always wanted to do. But he hasn’t had the opportunity to do it.

I have said a whistleblower is not necessarily a saint. But people often support him (a whistleblower) because what he reveals is usually beneficial to all. This issue is beyond Jibrin. If someone has any issue against Jibrin, he should write a petition and take it to the anti-corruption agencies. I will go to the agencies and respond to the petition. Nobody among the 359 members of the House has written a petition against me to the anti-graft agencies. I had written a petition against the Speaker and three other principal officers in the House. I am talking about people who committed budget fraud of N40bn, another budget fraud worth about N20bn and there is another budget fraud with a cumulative sum of N284bn. I am talking about a person who diverted Federal Government projects to his farm; short-changed members in the N10bn Sustainable Development Goal projects of 2015; used subterranean means to create a new House rule that is the subject of litigation; and a man who collects rent from multiple sources. I have also exposed the fact that members are collecting votes for running costs. I am not saying money should not be voted for lawmakers’ running costs. The point is that this money is (sometimes) diverted to private pockets.

Are you saying your current anti-corruption campaign in the House is not an expression of your bitterness for being removed as Chairman of the House Appropriation Committee?  

I will say Nigerians should continue to pray for this kind of bitterness. It is a blessing to the country. More people should become embittered and expose the ills of our country; and look at somebody in the eye, no matter how highly placed he is and tell him the truth. Like in my case, I am so convinced that I can look at the Speaker, the number four citizen of the country, and say, ‘You are a fraudster.’ That will teach people a lesson that they cannot abuse their office.