Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on National Assembly Affairs Ita Enang said on Tuesday that the allegations of ”budget padding” against the Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara and 13 others by Abdulmumin Jibrin, former chairman of the house appropriations committee, were not true.
Here’s what Enang had to share with Journalists after his meeting with leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the National Secretariat on August 9 in Abuja.
”I am here on the invitation of the leadership of the APC with my colleague to bring answers to issues raised by the party on the 2016 appropriation and we have been with the party for a little over three hours,” he said. ”We have given explanations to them on every issue and told them that there was nothing, to our knowledge, like padding of the budget. The budget as assented to by Mr President is the budget as passed by the national assembly and that is the budget being executed.
”But as of now, the party is handling it as a domestic issue, and all of us are enjoined not to make public comment on the details because the matter is still under consideration.
”So, that is what we will want to say for now. We will not want to go into the details of it so that we will not breach the ethics of the party, the directives of the party or pre-empt anything or any outcome of the party investigation. In all our years of legislative engagement, we are yet to find in the legislative lexicon the word ‘padding’. When the budget is presented before the legislature, the legislature is to consider the budget and pass as they deem fit.
”So what the legislature pass becomes the appropriation upon accent. Therefore, any word which is yet to crystallize in legislative lexicon, you cannot hear us mention it.”