Speaker Yakubu Dogara

SERAP to Dogara: Budget padding is a crime of corruption

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has faulted the claim by the Speaker of House of Representatives Mr Yakubu Dogara that “budget padding is not a crime under Nigerian law.”

Mr Dogara said this after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa last week. According to him, “Budget padding is not an offence. What is padding? I studied law and I have been in the legislature and all this period I have never heard of the word padding being an offence under any law…Why should I be worried. As far as I am concerned, I am not worried over anything.”

But in a statement today by SERAP executive director Adetokunbo Mumuni the organization said that, “Budget padding in fact is corruption, as it is implicit in corruption offences such as abuse of office, attempt to embezzle, divert, and misappropriate public funds, conspiracy to act corruptly, and illicit enrichment, which are recognized under the UN Convention against Corruption to which Nigeria is a state party, and included in national legislation such as the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Establishment Act and the Fiscal Responsibility Act.”

The statement reads in part: “The allegations against Mr Dogara and other principal officials of the House of Representatives also suggest a subversion of the budget process, which in itself is a crime but also a fundamental breach of constitutional provisions and an affront to internationally recognized human rights.”

“A prima-facie case of corruption is established when elected officials are allegedly influenced to act contrary to their obligations of office by the prospect of financial gain to themselves. Budget padding also amounts to corruption as the action is against the public interest. Any appearance of corruption in the budget process can result in a cynical public to losing interest in political participation altogether. And democracy can’t work unless Nigerians have faith in those who govern.”

Continue Reading

Related posts:

SIGN UP FOR SERAP DIGEST

Enter your first name and email address to sign up for newsletter

Shares