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Busted N30 Billion Budget Scandal: The Real Reason Behind Senator Abaribe’s Arrest

By: Chidiebere Nwobodo

Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, a known critic of President Buhari’s maladministration was hounded and arrested last Friday, not because of his link with Nnamdi Kanu’s ongoing court case, but as a result of his testicular fortitude, displayed in busting one of the biggest scandal of President Buhari’s government. He alerted Nigerians on the alleged smuggled budget item into 2018 Appropriation Act, amounting to N30 billion without the approval of National Assembly.

Senator Abaribe, who doubles as Senate Committee Chairman on Power, discovered this high profile corruption action after President Buhari had signed the 2018 Budget into law. He raised objection and questioned the rationale cum motive behind this malfeasance and gross abuse of public trust. Few hours after blowing whistle on this unfolding scandal, he was subsequently arrested on the orders of President Buhari by the DSS.

Below is the attached document where the N30 billion was inserted as a one-line budget item. The item read: “Expansion And Reinforcement of Infrastructure in 11 Distribution Companies To Reduce Stranded Generation Capacity”. It was inserted with a fictitious serial number: “ERGP10109327” that doesn’t tally with the preceding numbers of the budget items under power sector. If you pay close attention to the document, you will discover that other budget items have 7 (seven) as third to the last digit, while this smuggled one has 3 (three) instead of 7 (three).

Further study of the document will reveal to you that the fraudulent N30 billion budget item has no project specifications and locations, outside the vague title given to it, in order to make it difficult for any curious mind to trace its implementation when the money is finally released. This is the real budget padding and monumental corruption, ravaging a presidency that is oppressing opposition in the veil of anti-corruption war!

The essence of this piece is not to defend National Assembly but to expose insufferable hypocrisy of President Buhari’s so-called anti-graft stance. National Assembly is notorious in budget padding but the executive arm is also involved in looting this nation blind. In fact, the budget padding starts and ends with the executive, while National Assembly play along in the ignoble acts of corruption holding Nigeria down.

President Buhari, whose presidency is plagued with these acts of humongous corruption, has no moral height to stand and accuse National Assembly of corruption cum budget mutilation while being enmeshed in it. We are aware that the cabal is doing everything possible to raise serious financial war chest that will be able buy millions of Nigerians as we approach 2019 presidential election. The hemorrhaging of Nigerian State is getting to the point of crescendo.