N17 billion bribery claim: 2015 Reps Chair on finance exhornorate self
London, May 28, 2018 (AltAfrika)-The Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Finance in 2015, Abdulmumin Jibrin has claimed ignorance of the N17 billion alleged bribe made by former finance minister Ngozi okonjo-Iweala
In a press statement, Jubril said, “As the chairman of House Committee on Finance during the period in question, I was never part of a meeting where such decision was made. I am not aware of any N17bn naira introduced in the 2014 budget for election expenses for members and I did not benefit from such money if at all it ever existed.
“It is absolutely unfair of the former minister of finance to make such grievous allegation in a blanket manner. She should have named those that participated at the said meeting and received the money.
My attention has been drawn to media reports from extract of a book- Fighting corruption is dangerous- written by former Finance Minister Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala where in she stated that in a tough session with National Assembly’s ad-hoc committee on budget ( Made up of chairs of Finance and Appropriation Committee of both chambers and other leaders of National Assembly), 17 billion naira was forced into the budget for election expenses for members of NASS.
As Chairman House Committee on Finance during the period in question, I wish to state as follows
1- I was NEVER part of a meeting where such decision was made. Iam not aware of any 17billion naira introduced in the 2015 budget for election expenses for members of NASS. I did not benefit in any way or form from such a money if at all it ever existed.
2- It is absolutely unfair for the former Minister of finance to make such grievous allegation in a blanket manner. She should have named those that participated at the said meeting and received the money. That will be a higher service to the country and will aide investigation and help establish culpability
3- Budget is not rocket science, the former Finance Minister with her huge institutional memory, documents at her disposal and massive contacts can identify and state specifically where the money was inserted in the budget and how it was implemented in favour of the alleged beneficiaries
4-In all my interactions (including budget matters), oversight and sometimes confrontation with the former Minister of finance, it always centered on issues particularly on the MTEF and economy and most of our activities, engagements and discuss are in the public glare.
5- The toughest of such issue based interaction for me was 2013 MTEF. In one of such meetings at the villa, there was an out burst between myself and the former finance Minister on issues concerning the MTEF. President Jonathan interrupted my presentation, backed his minister and took time to dress me down to the suprise of the NASS delegation. I apologized to him and proceeded with my presentation as if nothing happened. I got a welldone tap on my shoulder from President Jonathan after the meeting.
6- Iam by this statement putting up myself before all the anti graft agencies to investigate me and established if Iam part of that decision or benefited from its outcome or proceed. We should not take allegations of corruption lightly as such, when allegations of corruption are raised, it must be dealt with decisively.
Hon Abdulmumin Jibrin