Jubrin's Allegations: EFCC, ICPC, Police May Clash Over Budget Padding Probe


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The Department of State Services,
The Police and other Federal
Government security agencies
are at logger heads over a
petition submitted to them by a
former Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on
Appropriation, Abdulmumin
Jibrin.
In the petition, Jibrin accused the
Speaker of the House, Yakubu
Dogara, three principal officers and eight committee chairmen of
padding the 2016 budget to the
tune of N480bn. He wowever
submitted the petition to the
Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices
and other related offences
Commission.
The three principal officers
accused by Jubrin are the
Deputy Speaker, Yusuf Lasun; the House Whip, Alhassan
Doguwa; and the Minority
Leader, Leo Ogor.
It was learnt on Wednesday that
each of the agencies had insisted
that it would conduct independent investigation into
the allegations. Meanwhile the
EFCC had expected the other
agencies to refer the petition to it
since i lies within its juridisction.
On Saturday, the DSS shut the office of House Committee on
Appropriation. According to
sources, the action was part of
measures to pre-empt those
involved in the padding from
altering evidence. In the words of a top security
officer who spoke with The
Punch:
“There are indications that each
of the agencies is conducting its
investigation and there is no way they will not clash.”
The Force Public Relations
Officer, Donald Awunah, said the
police would investigate Jubrin’s
petition, adding that the fact that
the petition was submitted to other agencies could not deter
the police from acting on it. He
affirmed that “The IG will take
the necessary action.”
Awunah added that he was not
in the position to speak for the other agencies involved, adding
that the police would treat the
case in accordance with their
mandate:
“I cannot speak for other
organisations; every organisation has its own laws
governing it. They are at liberty
to do what is expected of them
in accordance with their laws.
The police would carry out
investigation into the allegations in accordance with our
mandate.”
An investigating team set up by
the Inspector -General of Police,
Mr. Ibrahim Idris met Jubrin on
Tuesday. The team, led by an Assistant Inspector-General of
Police, Amodu Ali, had earlier
invited Dogara and three other
principal officers for
interrogation.
All efforts to contact the spokesman for the EFCC, Wilson
Uwujaren failed as calls to his
mobile phone did not go
through. Although he had on
Monday confirmed that Jubrin
had tendered his petition before the commission.
“I understand that a petition has
been submitted; like any other
petition, we will look into it” he
had said.
A competent source in the DSS told The PUNCH that the
department had begun its
investigation.
“Our investigation is different. As
you are aware, we have sealed
the appropriation committee’s office. We are ahead of others in
our investigation,” the source
said.
In the meantime, Mrs. Rasheedat
Okuwa, the spokesperson for
the ICPC, said she could not comment on enforcement
matters.
It should be recalled that on
Monday, Jubrin tweeted via his
handle:
“The case against Dogara and others included corrupt
enrichment, abuse of office and
breach of public trust.”
According to Security experts,
Jibrin’s decision to submit the
petition to all security agencies might usher in unnecessary
rivalry among the services, a
development which in itself
might see to the end of the
investigations.
A security analyst, Ben Okezie who spoke with Punch
correspondent was of the
opinion that there should not be
any controversy over the
investigation, adding that the
Attorney-General of the Federation could also direct a
particular agency to carry out
the necessary investigations.
“This is a case for those who
investigate criminality; DSS don’t
investigate criminal issues, DSS sniff out information to give to
the police, the military and other
agencies. They are supposed to
give such information or
intelligence to the office of the
National Security Adviser as the clearing house.
“It happened at the height of the
Boko Haram insurgency when
the DSS and the police were
competing with each other over
which agency should handle insurgency matters until they
brought them under the
National Orientation Agency,
they then started speaking with
one voice,” he said.
According to a retired Commissioner of Police, Alhaji
Abubakar Tsav, it was the
responsibility of the police to
investigate the allegations. He
noted that the special fraud unit
was well equipped to probe Jibrin’s petition.
He said, “Instead of the agencies
struggling to investigate the
allegations, I believe they should
allow the police to handle the
case. “The agencies should not
engage in superiority contest,
because they are working
towards the same goal.
Whatever information the other
agencies have should be given to the police. If the police, the
EFCC, the ICPC and the DSS are all
investigating the case; when
they get to court, they will fail.”
.