The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged the Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara to “urgently refer to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for an effective and independent investigation the allegations that the leadership of the House attempted to pad this year’s budget to the tune of N40 billion and that the member who blew the whistle was victimized for opposing immunity for principal officers.”
SERAP’s call followed allegations by the immediate past Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, Abdulmunin Jibrin, that Speaker Yakubu Dogara and three other principal officers of the House victimized him for refusing to support immunity for presiding officers as well as the approval of N40 billion for principal officers out of N100 billion approved for members of the House for constituency project. In a statement Sunday, by SERAP, its Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni said that, “Given the seriousness and gravity of the allegations against the leadership of the House, any investigation by the House would not be enough, as this would not meet the threshold of an effective, transparent and independent investigation. Nigerians won’t have confidence in the House investigating itself in this case.” The statement read in part: “Referring the allegations to both the EFCC and the ICPC for a joint investigation would show that the House leadership is willing and able to enhance the transparency and accountability of its system and that of the National Assembly as a whole.” “The Speaker must now move swiftly to refer the allegations to the EFCC and the ICPC to allow for a swift, transparent, effective and independent investigation in order to contain the damage that is already done, but also not to create the impression of a cover up. There must be full accountability for any leader or member of the House found to be responsible for corruption and abuse of office.