Acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim Idris has raised a five-man special team to probe the alleged padding of the budget by House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara and some of his principal officers.
The Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) Amodu Ali-led Special Investigative Panel (SIP) has invited Dogara, his deputy Yusuff Lasun, Chief Whip Alhassan Ado Doguwa and Minority Leader Leo Ogor to appear before it on Friday.
The panel yesterday had what was called “a preliminary session” with ousted House Committee on Appropriations chairman Abdulmumin Jibrin, who accused Dogara and others of padding the budget with N284 billion.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has met with the warring Dogara and Jibrin to resolve their differences. Jibrin was at the party’s secretariat in Abuja where he met with the National Working Committee (NWC) members.
Dogara was said to have earlier met with the committee. The day of the meeting was, however, not given.
Last Monday, Jibrin petitioned the police, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other anti-corruption agencies over the matter.
Jibrin was said to have “furnished the SIP with vital information and a heap of documents” at their meeting yesterday.
A highly-placed police source, who spoke in confidence, said Ibrahim has directed the SIP to conduct a “comprehensive investigation into Jibrin’s petition.”
The source said: “We have commenced full investigation into the N284billion budget padding in the House of Representatives based on a petition from Hon. Jibrin.
”A Special Investigative Panel (SIP), with a crack detective, AIG Amodu Ali as the chairman, is the one saddled with the responsibility of looking into the allegations in the petition. The same Ali uncovered the lid on the $620,000 bribery scam in the House for which a former Chairman of the House Committee on Fuel Subsidy Management, Mallam Farouk Lawan, and the Clerk of the committee, Mr. Boniface Emenalo were indicted. The case is in court.
“You will recall that Ali was deeply involved in the investigation of the $180million Halliburton scam. So, the SIP is led by an officer who is tested.”
Asked of the preliminary work done by the SIP, the source added: “As I am talking to you (4pm yesterday), a letter of invitation has been addressed and sent to the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker, the Chief Whip and the Minority Leader.
“They will be interrogated by the SIP on Friday. As a prelude to the invitation of the principal officers, the SIP chairman and members had a session with Jibrin on Tuesday.
“It was not a grilling session. But Jibrin furnished the team with vital information and a heap of documents to back up the petition he submitted on Monday.
“We are going into the merit or otherwise of the petition on Friday by inviting Dogara and three others. It is going to be a gradual thing but we will crack the padding controversy.”
Also yesterday, Jibrin confirmed that security has been beefed up around him by the Department of State Service (DSS) and the police.
He also asked the All Progressives Congress (APC) to prevail on Dogara to reconvene the House and step aside to face prosecution for alleged budget padding.
Jibrin, in a message on his Twitter handle, said: “My attention has been drawn to media reports that I have been summoned to appear before a disciplinary committee of our great party.
“That I received a letter yesterday evening (Monday) inviting me to a meeting in respect of the crisis in the House on Tuesday (yesterday) by 2pm at the party’s office.
“The letter did not in any way indicate it as a disciplinary committee. And I have responded that I will attend the meeting despite my tight schedules shuttling between security and anti-corruption agencies to provide support and evidence against Speaker Dogara and nine others.
“I am confident that the party will do the right thing by throwing its weight to support our resolve to wipe out corruption in the House and direct Speaker Dogara, Deputy Speaker Lasun, Whip Doguwa and Minority Leader Ogor to reconvene the House immediately and step down to face imminent prosecution and save the party and our dear country from further embarrassment.”