The Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Leo Ogor, has described the budget padding allegation against him and other principal officials including Speaker Yakubu Dogara, as outright lies.
Mr. Ogor said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Friday.
A former chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin, had on Thursday asked Dogara, Deputy Speaker Yusuf Lasun, Ogor and Chief Whip, Ado Doguwa, to resign for alleged budget padding.
Mr. Jibrin in a statement issued to journalists, accused the Speaker and the other principal officers of illegally inserting and allocating projects worth over N20 billion to their constituencies in the 2016 budget.
The lawmaker further alleged that his refusal to inject another N30 billion into the budget for Mr. Dogara, earned him the replacement.
Mr. Ogor, however, questioned the timing of the allegations against him and the other principal officers, saying he did not “want to go into altercation with anybody” and that “at the appropriate time, when we resume on the floor we will speak”.
While insisting that the allegations are nothing but “bunch of lies”, the minority leader stressed that he was not going to waste his time responding to an issue he considers “totally inconsequential”.
He said Mr. Jibrin was aggrieved because he lost his place as chairman of the Committee on Appropriation.
“You can read the lines; he has actually lost his committee and I believe that is the issue.
“Why didn’t he make available these allegations all along? This is the question you need to answer.
“How come he was the one that addressed the issue of this budget on channels and he accused the Presidency and the executive in respect of issues that bother on the budget.
“Today, he is singing a different tune, and I think he is good at singing different tunes anyway.
“So like I said, I am not going to go into any altercation with any person.
“I am not going to waste my time over that issue and what he has said are all lies and this kind of blackmail doesn’t work with the likes of Leo Ogor.
“So you see he is just wasting his time. I am expecting him to come and prove what he has said”.