EFCC PROBES BUDGET PADDING IN THE SENATE

Following the controversy surrounding the padding of the 2016 Budget as alleged in the House of Representatives, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has beamed its searchlight on the Senate Committee on Appropriations. Vanguard gathered yesterday that the EFCC has begun investigation of the alleged padding of 2016 Budget in line with allegations contained in the petition by the sacked Chairman of House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations, Hon Jibril Abdulmumin.

It was also gathered yesterday that the EFCC has decided to launch into the allegations and get to the roots of the matter, just as it has decided to launch investigations into the possible involvement of the Senate Committee on Appropriations in the alleged padding. Vanguard also gathered that some preliminary findings by the EFCC team indicate that there was the urgent need to beam its torchlight on the activities of the Senate Appropriation Committee. The Committee would be investigated for alleged insertions amounting to about N5 billion in some Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

It would be recalled that Hon. Abdulmumin, had in his determination to expose alleged wrong doing in the process of the passage of the 2016 Budget, petitioned the EFCC as well as the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission(ICPC) alleging that over N400 billion was involved in the budget padding scandal. It would also be recalled that the Police had last week waded into the same issue, a development said to have created a level of confusion for the EFCC, with an official saying, “we don’t know what the man really wants, by sending the same petition to different agencies.” Though Jibril did not specifically refer to the Senate Committee in his petitions, sources said that the EFCC has decided to broaden its investigations to cover activities of the red chambers, adding that since the budget was jointly passed by the two chambers, whatever affects one house should affect the other naturally.

The source said: “It is true the petition by Jibril centered on activities of the House leadership, but in order to ensure that there are no clash of investigations, the EFCC has decided to Centre its investigations on the Senate Committee on Appropriations. By that we will be able to make distinct discoveries.” It was gathered that some alleged paddings in some MDAs were already being x-rayed to isolate the wrong doings, if any. Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Danjuma Goje could not be reached yesterday as he did not pick his phone or reply to text messages on the development.

Read more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/08/budget-padding-efcc-extend-probe-senate-2/

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