Saraki, Dogara Fault Anti-Corruption War

Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, yesterday, took the Federal Government to the cleaners over its anti-corruption war.  Saraki claimed the anti-graft war was sensational and selective, Dogara also insisted the war was only “dealing with the symptoms of corruption.”

The two National Assembly leaders spoke in Abuja, at the public presentation of Senator Dino Melaye’s book, “Antidotes For Corruption: The Nigerian Story.”

Saraki particularly came hard on anti-corruption agencies, alleging that they were under pressure to justify their existence and show that they were working.

He said this led to media trials of suspects by anti-corruption agencies, noting that the agencies left the substance of anti-corruption war, but focused on the show.

He said: “Let us imagine a society today in Nigeria where all the proceeds of corruption are well utilized rather than the one minute or five-minute sensation that we see in the fight against corruption. It is my view that we must fight corruption with sincerity.

“We must aim to go to the root of the problems. We need to strengthen our institutions. We should not base the anti-corruption war on individuals.

“People who are corrupt are patient. They can wait for four or eight years or 12 years. That is why it cannot be based on individuals. We must ensure that we do our best.

“I am convinced that we must return to that very basic medical axiom that prevention is better than cure.

“Perhaps, the reason our fight against corruption has met with rather limited success is that we appeared to have favoured punishment over deterrence.

“We must review our approaches in favour of building systems that make it a lot more difficult to carry out corrupt acts or to find a safe haven for corruption proceeds within our borders.

“We in the National Assembly last week took the first major step in this direction towards greater openness.

“For the first time in our political history, the budget of the National Assembly changed from a one-line item to a 34-page document that shows details of how we plan to utilize the public funds that we appropriate to ourselves.

“One area I believe we have made remarkable progress in the past two years of the President Buhari-led administration is that corruption has been forced back to the top of our national political agenda.

“Every single day, you read the newspapers, you listen to the radio, you go on the internet, you watch the television, the people are talking about it. The people are demanding more openness, more accountability and more convictions.

“Those of us in government are also responding, joining the conversation and accepting that the basis of our legitimacy as government is our manifest accountability to the people.

“At the moment, we are considering for passage into law the following bills: The Whistleblower Protection Bill, which I am confident will be passed not later than July 2017; The Proceeds of Crime Bill; The Special Anti-Corruption Court, which would be done through constitutional amendment and; The Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill.

“If we are able to build a quality public education system, especially at the basic and secondary level, which would not require parents to pay through their nose for their children’s education.

“If we are able to build an efficient public health system that provides insurance cover to ordinary citizens so that when they fall sick, they can access quality health care without running from pillar to post looking for money; if we are able to build a system that guarantees food and shelter to everyone; if we are able to do all these, we would have gone a long way in removing much of the driving force for corruption at this level.”

“Corruption, for those who are farmers, is like a tree that grows vigorously. If you end up pruning the trees and not attacking the roots, there is no way you will deal with that thing.

“So, when those who celebrate the successes of the fight against corruption in terms of the high-profile investigation, high-profile prosecution and even detention, they are missing the point because that is dealing with the symptoms of corruption. That is punishing corruption. But how are we developing remedies that we can apply to ensure that the tree dies?

“Recently, we went for May Day and some of us were nearly held hostage. You can’t blame the workers. While they were agitating for their rights, agitating for minimum wage, some of us are talking about living wage. The workers control, perhaps, about 96 percent of the budget.

“In the National Assembly, we have about 92 percent, judiciary and the rest. So, if you don’t make the environment conducive for those who administer this money not to want to be corrupt, you will end up jailing people.”

Dogara Seeks Constitutional Role For Traditional Rulers

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, on Sunday called for constitutional role for traditional leaders in the country.

Mr. Dogara made the call during a courtesy visit to Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi in Birnin Kebbi, on the sideline of the turbanning ceremony of the Chief Whip of the House, Alhassan Adodoguwa, as the Dallatun Kangiwa in Arewa Local Government Area of the state.

The speaker was represented at the occasion by the Deputy Leader of the House, Umar Jibril, who also led other members to the state.

He said that it was time for Nigerians to give traditional rulers constitutional recognition because in the past, people derived their power and authority from them.

“It is high time we started going down the memory lane to actualize this dream. We pray that we shall achieve this and promote the traditional rulers to their actual positions in the country.’’

Mr. Bagudu, while responding, urged the National Assembly to provide mechanisms that ensure increased funding to agriculture sector.

He said that if Nigeria had spent a lot on the sector, the country’s economy would have been diversified.

Reacting to his new title, Mr. Adodoguwa described it as a gesture that would further bridge the gap among the people in the North, especially among the people of the North-West.

Godfatherism, Rotational Candidacy The Bane Of Lawmaking In Nigeria – Dogara

Yakubu Dogara, the Speaker of the House of Representatives has lamented the high rate of turnover of legislators in the National Assembly.

He attributed to this reasons including godfatherism and the clamour for rotational representation at the expense of quality legislation and the high cost of training invested in members, once elected.

Dogara said:

“Obviously, there’s no way one would not be bothered about the rate of turnover of legislators It is an issue that is being discussed on board, but so many factors are responsible and it is based on the practice of democracy in Nigeria.

“In some cases, some people have acquired some dominance in politics, they can just sit down and decide that they don’t like your face or that you have some kind of competence that is challenging to them, so they want to do away with you completely and eliminate you from politics.

“In some cases, it is based on the local arrangement where a constituency consists of 2 or 3 local governments and each local government would want its turn to be represented at the National Assembly. So, the pressure is always there to claim turns at representation.”

“As soon as you send someone for four years, the agitation from the other local government is that it is their turn coming, so at the end of the day, you then have this high rate of turnover in the National Assembly and it is not helping the system. Any system that doesn’t have the capacity to retain what is known as institutional memory is doomed, and in that process we have had well-trained and competent lawmakers where Government and National Assembly have expended huge resources in training and developing them, they are retired after four years when they are just getting really well developed, then they bring new sets of members who are trained for another four years and then asked to go back home.”

While explaining the effects of the loss of institutional memory, he said: “It doesn’t matter whether you are the best lawyer or made a First Class in Law; when you come to parliament you’ll discover that even professors have been lost on the floor, you don’t hear their voices, you don’t even know that they are professors, sometimes you won’t even believe that we have professors. So, whatever it is that is your profession or qualification when you come to the National Assembly, you must wait first, there are so many things you must learn. If you are a fast learner; maybe within 2 years, you may be able to catch up. In some cases, however, it takes members more than 4 years to finish learning the ropes.”

Mr Dogara also said that retaining lawmakers would help strengthen oversight and eliminate what he referred to as “petty squabbles” during plenary, and that “if Parliament itself must endure and function efficiently, we have to find a way of retaining the majority of the members every four years.”

 “You can imagine if some of the experts we have now come back, like say we have 80 percent return rate. You can imagine, you don’t have to lecture anybody, you don’t have to waste so many resources to train people, they are already trained, they are ready to hit the ground running from day one, but that’s not the case in the National Assembly where you bring new members, train them for four years, invest in them and then you retire them. So, to be candid it is something that worries me, because I know that if we improve the retention rate of members, we would improve the quality of the membership and the quality of the legislation that comes out, improve the quality of debate that comes out of the National Assembly, but unfortunately that is not the case at the moment.”

2017 Budget Report: Dogara Gives Committees Deadline

The Speaker House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, on Tuesday gave Friday deadline to committees yet to submit report of 2017 budget to the Committee on Appropriation to do so.

Dogara gave the deadline at plenary and said that there was urgent need for the House to conclude work on the 2017 Appropriation Bill.

He said that any committee that failed to meet the deadline will face the consequences.

According to him, the affected Chairmen and Deputy Chairmen of committees should endeavour to submit their reports latest March 30 to enable the Appropriation Committee hasten the process of passing the 2017 Appropriation Bill.

Spokesman of the House, Rep. Abdulrazak Namdas, had on March 16, told newsmen that March 30 deadline set by the National Assembly for the passage of Bill was not sacrosanct.

Namdas had explained that the inability of the lawmakers to meet the deadline was due to the new software being used in the process.

According to him, the new software is slowing down the work of the Appropriation Committee.

“The new budget software is different from what we used to have before and it is slowing down the process of the Appropriation Committee,’’ Namdas added.



Dogara Queries N2.7 Trillion Spent On Power Without Commiserate Results

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Yakubu Dogara, has queried the utilisation of N2.74 trillion spent on the power sector from 1999-2015, saying the sector depreciated more as more funds were pumped into it. Dogara, who was speaking at a 2-day stakeholders Interactive dialogue/workshop on the Nigerian Power Sector organised by the National Assembly at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, also noted that the challenges faced by the sector calls for concerted efforts by all stakeholders to address them.
“Perhaps the most important question is what happened to the N2.74 trillion spent on the sector from 1999-2015? Why is it that the more we spent on the power sector, the more darkness we attract?”, Dogara queried.
The Speaker said it is in order to change the epileptic power situation that the National Assembly organized the workshop as a platform for power sector experts and other stakeholders to do a holistic diagnosis of the challenges impeding the development of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) and proffer practical solutions.
“These challenges run across the entire power value chain of generation, transmission and distribution. The myriad issues are apparently exacerbated by inadequate funding, poor energy mix, fuel supply issues, flawed regulatory framework, commercial issues among others. There is, therefore, a need for concerted efforts by all stakeholders to address these myriad problems,” he stated.
“The diagnosis includes but is not limited to a critical analysis of the extant legislation and regulatory framework guiding the Nigerian Power Sector to determine if there is a need for amendments or enactment of new laws that will galvanize the sector to deliver the required results,” he added.
Dogara also urged the participants to focus on the following questions with an aim to finding answers that will lead to the repositioning of the power sector for effective delivery to Nigerians.
• Why has power generation remained at less than 5000MW since the last 56 years?
• Why have various policies by successive governments failed?
• Why has the transmission infrastructure remained inadequate in wheeling the available power?
• How can the Federal Government rapidly expand the transmission infrastructure?
• Why are electric meters not available to most consumers thereby leading to contentious estimated billing?
• How can NERC establish a cost reflective tariff and reduce inefficiency in support of affordable end user tariffs?
• Why has there not been an effective Gas Master Plan for Nigeria which would have preceded the building of the gas fired power plants?
• What is the solution to the perennial pipeline vandalism that disrupts delivery of gas to the gas fired power plants?
• What can be done to improve local and foreign investment in gas gathering, processing and distribution?
• Why is there local and foreign investor apathy in investing in the Nigerian power sector?
• Why are the local and foreign financial institutions not funding the sector?
• How can the FGN create and sustain a stable investment climate for private sector participation in the power sector?
• How can the FGN maintain a creditworthy off-taker (NBET) of electricity?
• How can we maximize options like mini hydro and small solar projects to power rural communities?
• Why are most of the companies licensed by NERC not able to start their projects?
• What can be done to improve the poor energy mix?
• Why has the FGN not embarked on Energy Conservation campaign that will emphasize the use of energy saving bulbs etc.?
• What kind of guarantee is needed by foreign investors to facilitate investment in the power sector?
• What role can the legislature play to facilitate a rapid development of the power sector?
• Is there a political will to tackle head on the challenges of the power sector?
• Is there any need for amendment of extant legislations or enactment of new laws to galvanize both local and foreign investment in the Nigerian power sector?

Dogara Seeks Infrastructure Bond For Road Projects

Concerned about the huge debt owed to local road contracters in the country, speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Yakubu Dogara, has proposed an Infrastructure Bond for funding road infrastructure in the country.

Speaking when he received the report of the Technical Committee for the Review of the Roads’ Funds Bills in his office, Dogara noted that it is very important to ensure that these debts that have led to countless loss of jobs for Nigerians are settled for good.

“There is this existing humongous debts owed firms constructing roads. How do we exit from these debts so that the contractors and their workers can go back to work?”

He added, “I think we have to look inwards. I think we should think about floating an Infrastructure bond that will capture road infrastructure. We should just start on a new slate.”

The speaker, while stressing that countries with good road network develop at a faster pace than those that don’t, also noted that, “Nigeria’s road funding has been strictly through fiscal allocation since 1970; and whereas the recommended expenditure plan for road is 3.0 per cent of the annual gross domestic product  (GDP), we currently spend an infinitesimal 0.5 to 0.1 percent GDP.

“The burden of these long years of inaction on our road is high because for every N1 we fail to spend on road infrastructure, the country loses N5 in return. The loss in the man-hours per annum is put at 10 billion hours or N1.0 trillion. These are apart from cost of impairment, trauma, and loss of lives resulting from road crashes.”

The speaker also decried the high toll of inadequate and poor road infrastructure in Nigeria.

Giving assurance of the commitment of the House of Representatives and the National Assembly to revamp the nation’s existing road networks and building of new ones through the Road Fund Bill, to provide alternative, adequate and sustainable source of funding, Dogara said the country could not talk about economic diversification or joining the industrialised world without a sound road network.

“Nigeria needs at least 300, 000km of sound road network to actualise the Vision 2020. The country’s road network stands at a meagerly 194, 200km as at April 2016, with federal roads accounting for 34, 120km, while the local government account for 129, 580km and of that number, only 9,212km are rated as good, while 13,307km are rated fair and and 11,601km are rated bad.”

“If we must meet the self appointed benchmark of becoming one of the 20 largest economies by 2020 or in the near future,we must work to increase total road network from 194,200 we have today, to at least, 300, 000km by 2020. It means that we have to provide a minimum of 21, 000 km per annum.

“In fact, we need to make a planned and sustained N250 billion expenditure on the roads, in addition to N140 billion maintenance expenditure for the next 6 to 7 years. And we cannot do all these with government funding alone,hence the import of the Roads Fund Law.”

He commended the House Committee on Works and members of the Technical Committee for a job well done and promised expedited action on the recommendations.

Speaking earlier, the Chairman of the 27-man technical committee, Engr Chris Okoye, said the committee researched road development plans across many continents to come up with a workable plan for the Nigerian environment.

He said the committee recommended toll fees, fuel levy, axle load control charges, among others, as reliable sources of funding for road development and maintenance.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the House Committee on Works, Hon Toby Okechukwu, assured the speaker that they will put in all the necessary efforts to ensure that the House’ vision for quality road network for the nation was realised.

Dogara Commends Buhari, ECOWAS Leaders Over Gambia

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Yakubu Dogara has commended President Muhammadu Buhari and leaders of the Economic Community of West African States for the role they played in averting major political crisis in the Gambia.
In a statement issued on Sunday, by his Special Adviser on Media & Public Affairs, Mr. Turaki Hassan,  Dogara, said President  Buhari and his colleagues have averted a major political crisis that could have engulfed not only the Gambia but the entire West African sub region.
The speaker said that the leaders masterfully deployed diplomacy backed with potential military action to compell former Gambian dictator Yahya Jammeh to relinquish power to President Adama Barrow.
 “The leaders have demonstrated their readiness and strong resolve to defend democracy on the continent.”
“This would send strong signal to the world that democracy has come to stay in Africa. There is no room any longer for tyrants and dictators in the continent”, he said.
The  speaker maintained that inspite of any misgivings about democracy and it’s impact on the lives of the people, it still remains the best form of government and that “The will of the people and the consent of the governed  remains the only  basis of any government.”
Dogara said that the task ahead of African leaders is to fashion ways of making the system better  to deliver the greatest good to the greater number of people in order to enthrone good government, defeat poverty, engender patriotism and trust in the democratic system of government.

Jibrin Accuses Dogara Of Collecting $600,000 From Ibori

Suspended Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin, yesterday challenged House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara to publicly acknowledge the funding of his emergence as Speaker by former governor of Delta State, James Ibori.

Jibrin, in a statement, alleged that Dogara collected $600,000 from ex-convict Ibori to realise his speakership ambition.

Jibrin had said: “It is such a shame that Speaker Dogara denied the fact that former Governor James Ibori provided huge support to his emergence as Speaker by mobilising members from Delta State and some from the Southsouth and Southeast to support him.

“Since he has disowned Ibori, he should at least have the honour to return the $600,000 Ibori donated to his speakership campaign. I am sure he cannot deny the fact that he collected that money cash!

“We have secured funding from two reputable international organisation to establish an online platform that will serve as a central point to disseminate budget fraud and corruption acts and publish evidence and also hold lecture series and sensitization programs on budget fraud and corruption across the country.

“Our first event will hold in Kano on 9th January 2017 with 5000 youths across the country in attendance. Our anti corruption crusade with be ruthless in 2017.

“I remain very proud that despite the organised witch hunt against me using the institution of the house they have not been able to establish any offense that I have committed during the course of discharging my duties in the 5 years I have spent in the house.

“It is noteworthy that no member of the house has formally accused me of corruption or abuse of office as I have consistently done against the Speaker and others.

“I have said repeatedly that I will remain committed to this fight against budget fraud and corruption for the rest of my life even if iam alone. It is a commitment iam ready to die for!”

Jibrin was suspended by the House for bringing the institution into disrepute by his allegations of budget padding against some Principal Officers of the House and nine Committee Chairmen.

But in a swift reaction, Dogara denied the allegation, saying he has no affinity with the former governor.

Speaking though his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Turaki Hassan, the speaker said:”For the records, we want to state that the Rt. Hon. Speaker was elected by the votes of members of the House of Representatives.

here may well be silent supporters and well wishers of the Honourable Speaker from far and near some of whom he may not be aware of.

“Rt Hon Yakubu Dogara does not have a relationship, political or otherwise with formers Governor James Ibori of Delta state to warrant the insinuations in the statement credited to Senator Nwaboshi, and had never had one.”

Recession: @SpeakerDogara Discourages Passage Of Bills Seeking To Create New Agencies

In recognition of the economic recesssion in the country, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Yakubu Dogara, has urged the House to focus more on amendment of existing government agencies by giving them additional functions, rather than establishing new ones.

The Speaker said this while delivering his opening remarks at a public hearing organised by the House Committee on Information and National Orientation, Ethics and values.

“As a parliament, we must weigh very carefully the cost of setting up new Government Agencies especially during this period of economic recession. Sometimes instead of establishing new agencies we may just amend the laws setting up similar existing agencies by incorporating the mandate of the new agencies in the old one. This is because to set up a new bureaucracy with complement of Directors, offices, equipment may be unnecessary.”

The public hearing was aimed at collectively analysing the content of four bills that have passed second reading at plenary and subsequently referred to the Committee for further legislative action, namely;
(1) A Bill for an Act to Amend the National Broadcasting Commission Act (HB 168)
(2) A Bill for an Act to Provide for the Regulation and Conduct of Broadcasting Profession in Nigeria (HB 150)
(3) A Bill for an Act to Repeal Nigerian Films Corporation and Re-enact the Nigerian films Commission (HB 584)
(4) A Bill for an Act to Establish the National Agency for Ethics and Values (HB 519) .

One of the Bills (HB 168) proposes to insert to address the issues of Competition, Monopoly and Wholesale Offer in our broadcasting market while another is on the proposed Federal Competition Bill pending at the Committee of Whole of the House.

It’s Time For NASS To Publicly Answer Questions About Funding – @SpeakerDogara

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has said that it high time the National Assembly publicly answered questions about its activities and funding.
A statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media & Public Affairs, Turaki Hassan, said the speaker made the remark  on Friday at a roundtable conference on Civil Societies and Development Partners organised by the House Committee on Civil Societies and Development Partners in collaboration with Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC) and Department for International Development (DFID) in Abuja.
“Permit me to observe that this conference with the theme: “Bridging the gap between elected representatives and their constituents” is timely and apt. It comes at a period when constituents of parliamentarians are increasing interest in the activities of public officials, especially the performance of their elected representatives. It is also coming at a time in our nation when there is a genuine misunderstanding of the duties, responsibilities and activities of elected representatives and their desire to attract projects and services back to their constituencies, by way of constituency intervention projects.”
“There can be no effective representation if an atmosphere of distrust and suspicion exists as to the intentions and rationale for the actions of elected persons. The desire of elected representatives to make an impact in their constituencies is borne out of the need for service. No elected person worth his salt would be satisfied if he is unable to point out at the end of the day, what he has been able to accomplish within the period of his mandate.”
“This roundtable is particularly important because there is a yawning gap between the activities of representatives and the recipients of his services. To bridge this gap, greater effort should be made in communicating effectively the activities of elected representatives. We should have regular town hall meetings, regular consultative processes and regular media engagement, if this problem is to be solved. Time has also come for democratic institutions like the National Assembly to communicate better, its processes and activities to the public. Time has come for the National Assembly to publicly answer any questions relating to its activities and funding.”
“It seems to us that over the years the legislature has adopted the policy of non-response when its activities are called to question. Most often, a simple explanation is what is required but when none is forthcoming, mischief makers, ignorant and misinformed pundits are left to fill the public space with lies, falsehood and misinformation.”
“This roundtable should therefore discuss and recommend the ways and means of bridging the gap between parliament and the citizenry. The legislature is the most maligned arm of government even though it works very hard to fulfill its constitutional mandate.”
“The legislature is often misunderstood because its role is unappreciated. The work of the legislature is mainly intangible but the public hunger and measure of performance relates to tangible things. If a legislator works on a bill and gets it passed, the constituent may not take note; if a legislator speaks “big Grammar” and makes meaningful contributions in plenary or committee, it is hardly noticed by constituents. It therefore behooves on the media and Civil Society Organisations to step up the work of information dissemination and informed appraisal of activities of elected representatives.”
“Elected representatives like those in the National Assembly must also institutionalise co-operation, consultation and involvement of CSO’s in parliamentary activities such as oversight, public hearings, constituency activities and committee functions.”
“The House of Representatives – in its legislative agenda – committed itself to institutionalizing mechanisms that will facilitate more effective engagement with various stakeholders including constituents and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs). It is time to activate this commitment.”

Budget Padding: Jibrin Writes Buhari, Seeks Probe Of Dogara

Just days after he said he would not return to Nigeria until his safety was guaranteed, the suspended member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Abdulmumin Jibrin, has written President Muhammadu Buhari, seeking the prosecution of the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara.

He also wants other principal officers — the Deputy Speaker, Mr. Yussuff Lasun; the Chief Whip, Mr. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa; and the Minority Leader, Mr. Leo Ogor — who he also accused of padding the 2016 budget arrested and prosecuted along with Dogara.

Jibrin had claimed in July that the four officers padded the budget by over N40bn, excluding other alleged infractions.

He made the allegations soon after he was sacked as the Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation for “abusing the 2016 budget.”

Jibrin, an All Progressives Congress lawmaker from Kano State, was later suspended after the House investigated him for “bringing the image of the House to disrepute and public ridicule.”

The lawmaker, who now resides in the United Kingdom, in his latest action, wrote an open letter to Buhari on the alleged budget corruption in the House.

The letter was titled, “Open letter to Mr. President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, on budget fraud and corruption in the House of Representatives.”

Therein, Jibrin stated that he wrote Buhari a few weeks earlier, seeking audience with him so as to brief him on the development in the House, but that he received no response or invitation from the Presidency.

Jibrin noted that though Buhari’s busy schedules might have hindered him from seeing him, he also believed that certain “forces” were working to ensure that he never meets with the President.

He said, “I crave the indulgence of your Excellency to pardon me for resorting to an open letter to draw your attention to this matter.

“The need to deal with the matter decisively and the urgency involved necessitated opting for this channel. Besides, I am aware of some powerful forces working behind the scenes in cohort with some members of leadership of the House to ensure that I never get access to you and the matter never sees the light of the day.”

Jibrin admitted that he had been part of the actions and decisions taken in the House, but explained that he became “frustrated” and fed up with the system by opting to speak out.

He said he spoke out because he did not understand how a legislature that was supposed to be fighting corruption was involved with internal corruption.

He recalled how he had petitioned anti-graft agencies and the Department of State Services, but was surprised that none of the principal officers had yet to be arrested.

The letter read further, “Sir, this is an institution that is supposed to support you in fighting corruption.

“You have taken on corruption and corrupt people decisively; the crusade will be incomplete if corrupt elements are allowed to infest the legislative arm, especially the House of Representatives.

“You should by now know that you will never get the required support to fight corruption with Dogara as Speaker of the House and most importantly if reforms are not implemented in the House.

“Your Excellency, let me use this opportunity to inform you that I have challenged my suspension in court because it is unconstitutional and the seat belongs to my constituents, who are proud of my anti-corruption crusade in the House.

“My constituents have also filed a case in court to challenge the suspension. I have also stated clearly that I will never apologise to any member in the House or the House itself, as I did not commit any offence and I will continue to stand by all the allegations I raised.”

Jibrin claimed that the principal officers were doing everything within their powers to suppress the issue, including seizing opportunities to “blackmail” Buhari by declining to approve requests he might send to the National Assembly.

Besides the prosecution of the principal officers, the suspended member called for an end to the allowances regime in the House, “publish all entitlements of members; stop budget fraud; disclose internal budget of the House; open up finances of the House for external audit; implement e-parliament; activate electronic voting and attendance system; introduce individual members’ and standing committees’ performance template…”

He also said the N40bn should be returned to the N100bn sub-head for zonal intervention projects in the budget, while the projects listed against the principal officers should not be implemented.