House Of Representatives or House of Corruption?
At a time the President Muhammadu Buhari government is pushing it down our ears that sale of national assets is the only way out of recession, each member of the House of Representatives collects N10million monthly from taxpayers as running allowance, whatever that means.
This was revealed yesterday by the suspended former Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, Abdulmumin Jibrin in a letter dated September 29, 2016 titled: ” burden of proof of evidence: running cost of honourable members of the House of Representatives,” in which the lawmaker asked his colleagues to return a total of N10 million running cost allowance they have been collecting.
His letter made available to reporters Thursday reads in part: “I wish to draw your attention to the fact that since you suspended me yesterday and the suggestion of the Ethics Committee report that my allegations were generalized and without proof, I have come under intense public scrutiny and pressure to prove that there exists systemic corruption in the House.
“I have taken it as a responsibility to prove to the public that the House is a den of systemic corruption. As colleagues, I have bound with many of you and built a life-long friendship.
“I have some of you that I hold in high esteem. If you end up at the receiving end of the actions I will be taking up in the next few days, I want you to know there is nothing personal but commitment and fervent desire to ensure that corruption is wiped out of the House and reforms that will restore the battered image of the House and take back the House to the Nigerian people is implemented.
“Consequent upon the above and before I proceed with the aggressive steps I intend to take, I hereby demand that if you have illegally taken or stolen any money meant for the running cost of your offices for your entire stay in the House.
“You should return the money within one week to the Clerk of the National Assembly. And for the purpose of clarity. I am referring to about N10 million you collect from tax payers monthly.
“The Clerk will provide you with official accounts details, failure of which I will take necessary action to ensure that you return any money stolen and stand witness against you in case of prosecution.
“I have written to the Clerk of the National Assembly to stand by in anticipation. In the face of the revenue challenges and biting hardship the country is currently facing, there is no better time the country needs such money than now.
“In the case of the Presiding and Principal Officers, in addition to my demand in this letter which applies to them too, I have written them yesterday and gave them 72 hours ultimatum to make public the total amount they have received as running cost in their entire stay in the House, failure of which I will proceed with necessary legal action to compel them to make the total amount each of them have received public.
“There are other issues of monumental corruption in the House that I will be raising in the following weeks which we must all deal with, but first let’s get done with this one.”
Jibrin was suspended for 180 legislative days for blowing the whistle on the budget-padding fraud even before the allegation is investigated by the police.