Budget padding: Group urges EFCC to probe NASS leadership

EFCC witness tells court alleged fraudster’s statements were not obtained under duress

A Group named `Conscience Nigeria’, on Monday, urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the leadership of the House of Representatives over alleged N40 billion budget padding.

Mr Tosin Adeyanju, Executive Director, Conscience Nigeria, made the plea during a peaceful protest at the Lagos office of the EFCC.

Adeyanju, called for the immediate interrogation of the principal officers of the House fingered in the allegation.

The former Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibril, had named himself and some Principal Officers of the House as beneficiaries of illegal running costs amounting to billions of naira.

“Till date, none of the Principal Officers directly fingered in the budget padding scandal has been invited, investigated or prosecuted.

“For the ongoing anti-corruption war to be successful, our nation must ensure that there are no sacred cows and no stone is left unturned in the fight against corruption.

“We call on the commission to immediately commence investigation into the allegation of padding of the 2016 Budget by the leadership of the Federal House of Representatives,’’ Adeyanju said.

He said that the consequences of the lawmakers’ actions would become a burden on the average Nigerian, “hence our opposition against making the issue a family affair’’.

The EFCC Deputy Director (Operations), Mr Iliyasu Kwarbai, who received a petition on behalf of the commission, commended the group for the peaceful protest.

“We have received petitions from some other persons on this same issue of budget padding. Our men are on ground already for the investigation.

“EFCC has no sacred cows. Whoever is involved in budget padding will be prosecuted.

“The President has said so before that no corrupt person will go unpunished. We call on all with facts that would help us prosecute the case to come to us,’’ Kwarbai said.

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