This man you are looking at is not above the Law!!!
Our attention has been drawn to recent publications in some sections of the media in which the Speaker of the House of Representatives Rt. Honourable Yakubu Dogara has been grossly misrepresented in his statements to the press.
The first was at the State House after his meeting with Mr President where he informed the press that " padding" was unknown to the lexicon of the legislature and Nigerian law.
By this, the Speaker clearly asserted that nothing undertaken by the legislature in the ordinary course of the budget process could be alluded to either as padding or an infraction of any law in Nigeria.
Unfortunately the media reported him as saying that " padding" was not a crime. This tended to insinuate that the Hon Speaker admitted there was budget padding but that this did not constitute a crime.
There could be nothing further from the truth. The Hon Speaker's assertion was and remains that nothing untoward had been done by the House and indeed the National Assembly with respect to the 2016 budget.
In the second instance, while responding to questions at the Civil Society Dialogue at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel Abuja on Thursday 12th August, Rt. Hon Dogara made reference to Sections 3, 24 and 30 of the Legislative Houses ( Powers and Privileges ) Act to buttress the point that the legislature while carrying out its constitutional responsibilities is protected by law. He did not say or mean that he is above the laws of the land or that he is shielded by the law or has immunity for any infractions of the law.
This clear restatement of the law has been twisted by sections of the media to mean that neither security agencies nor the courts could investigate or prosecute or try him ! This is most uncharitable and a deliberate and calculated attempt to pitch the Speaker against the Nigerian public and paint him as lawless.
As an Officer in the Temple of Justice, Dogara not only owes unalloyed allegiance to the Judiciary but also to the institutions of law enforcement.He indeed swore to an Oath of allegiance to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Dogara should not be portrayed as insensitive or arrogant as this is contrary to his true nature of humility and humaneness that has endeared him to his colleagues and Nigerians.
Indeed, Dogara had initially adopted silence as his response, but having observed the grievous damage Hon Jibrin's extensive misrepresentations and lies was inflicting on the country and distracting our common and urgent resolve to tackle our distressed economy and security challenges, he opted to offer some explanations on the issues as continuous silence may have amounted to insensitivity, admission or arrogance.
Mr Speaker, Rt Hon Yakubu Dogara, wishes to reiterate and assure all Nigerians that NO KOBO BELONGING TO NIGERIAHAS BEEN MISAPPROPRIATED, STOLEN OR LOST IN THIS BUDGET SAGA. THERE WAS NO ACT OF CORRUPTION BY HIM DURING AND AFTER THE PREPARATION OF THE 2016 BUDGET. MR SPEAKER URGES ALL NIGERIANS TO BE VIGILANT WITH RESPECT TO EXECUTION OF 2016 BUDGET TO ENSURE THAT NIGERIANS ARE NOT SHORTCHANGED.
MR SPEAKER YAKUBU DOGARA FURTHER WISHES TO DENY ALL OTHER ALLEGATIONS OF A PERSONAL NATURE HEAPED ON HIM BY HON JIBRIN AS THEY ARE FICTIONAL AND SCANDALOUS UNTRUTHS AND FALSEHOODS WHICH WILL BE DEALTH WITH AT THE APPROPRIATE FORA AND TIME.
We wish to appeal to the public for patience as the TRUTH which will vindicate the innocent in this unfortunate saga will unfold sooner than later.
Turaki Adamu Hassan
Special Adviser (Media & Public Affairs)
August 13, 2016