Suspended lawmaker, Abdulmumin Jibrin, has written an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, imploring him to end his long silence about the budget fraud allegations in the House of Representatives.
It is the first time the embattled lawmaker will write directly to the president since the controversy broke out —and he used it to attack Speaker Yakubu Dogara and other usual targets.
In the letter, Mr. Jibrin said he decided to write the president and copy the public after all his efforts to have an audience with the him were frustrated.
“I write this letter to you as a last resort to seek action on the allegations of budget fraud, abuse of office and corruption I levelled against Speaker Yakubu Dogara and three other Principal Officers of the House of Representatives,” Mr. Jibrin said.
The letter came a few days after he said he’d gone on exile partly because of the president’s reluctance to intervene in the scandal which has been rocking the National Assembly for four months.
“The silence of the presidency is no longer sending the right message to Nigerians and the international community,” Mr. Jibrin said in a statement on November 7.
In his letter on Friday, Mr. Jibrin, who was suspended on September 28 over his face off with lawmakers, informed the president about alleged sharp practices of House members and called on him to act.
“Your Excellency, the House of Representatives stinks of corruption and something urgent must be done to salvage the situation,” Mr. Jibrin said. “We have a golden opportunity to show the world that there is zero tolerance for corruption under your leadership.”
Mr. Jibrin said the president should order prioritised investigation into the padding claims with a focus on bringing culpable members to justice.
“I pray that you direct the various agencies that I submitted petitions to expedite action on the matter as Nigerians and the world are watching to see how we will deal with this issue of incontrovertible corruption by Speaker Dogara and others and systemic corruption in the House,” Mr. Jibrin said.
Mr. Dogara’s spokesman, Turaki Hassan, declined comments on Friday night. But his principal has repeatedly denied all the allegations of budget padding against him.
The demands for Mr. Buhari’s intervention stand in sharp contrast from Mr. Jibrin’s October 1 statement in which he described the president’s silence as “a blessing in disguise.”
“If Mr. President had jumped into the matter at the early stage, trust Nigerians, they would have concluded that the presidency is using me to fight the House,” Mr. Jibrin said in his Independence Day statement. ”Such perception and blackmail would have been difficult to deal with.”
The lawmaker went on exile last week, sparking speculation that he fled the country to avoid a pending charges against him by the authorities.
But he denied fleeing from prosecution, said he travelled because his safety was not guaranteed in Nigeria and he’ll return to the country when invited to testify in the budget fraud investigation.
“I will be available once my attention is required in respect of my petition against the Speaker and others or any petition that may come against me,” he said.