From Kemi Yesufu, Abuja

A group of lawmakers under the auspices of the ‘Transparency Group’ has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate Speaker Dogara and other principal officers over allegations of padding the 2016 budget.

The lawmakers during a press briefing at the Na­tional Assembly insisted that Dogara, Lasun, the Majority Whip Alhassan Doguwa and Minority Leader, Leo Ogor and the former chairman House Committee on Appropria­tions, Abdumumin Jibrin be investigated by relevant “external” government agencies.

Speaking on behalf of the Transparency Group , Musa Soba (Kaduna-APC) claimed that about 113 sig­natures had been collected from lawmakers from the six geopolitical zones and across party lines before the Sallah break with a view to compelling the Speaker to explain discrep­ancies in the budget.

Other lawmakers at the briefing who identified themselves as the public­ity committee of the new group, include: Abubakar Chika (Niger-APC), Ba­balle Bashir (Kano-APC), Bala Ikora (Kaduna-APC) and Lawal Yahaha (Bauchi- APC).

“We call for an external investigation into the mat­ter with a view of finding out if our principal officers are guilty or not. For this group, we say the budget was padded and as such, the budget being a docu­ment that belongs to all Ni­gerians, it is no longer an internal affair,” Sabo said.

Soba, who said it had be­come necessary to inform Nigerians that Namdas wasn’t speaking on behalf members, called on the Speaker to desist from making Jibrin’s allegations look like a problem of the House.

He maintained that henceforth, both the Speaker, the Deputy Speak­er, the Chief Whip and the Minority Leader should confront the allegations made against them as indi­viduals.