There are indications that the 2017 budget may not be passed soon following a disclosure made by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Senator Danjuma Goje, that the budget documents were part of the items seized by the police during a raid in his residence recently.
“We were holding a meeting on the budget on Thursday (when his house was raided). So, from Thursday ((last week) till now, we have not been able to meet because some of the papers are not around. Many of us are traumatised. My house as a politician is a beehive of activities; people are coming from all over the country to sympathise with me. I have no time to sit.
“From today, we are trying to start sitting again as Appropriation Committee to see what we can do with the budget. I want to apologise to my colleagues that we could not keep to the timetable you gave us to lay the budget yesterday (Tuesday) and to get it passed today (Wednesday). And I think it is not our own fault; it is the fault of the police because they interfered with the whole of the budget process and I hope Nigerians will not turn out to blackmail the National Assembly because the process was truncated by the police.”
Last Thursday’s raid by police at the residence of Senator Danjuma Goje may delay the passage of the 2017 budget, a source has disclosed.
According to new information pertaining to the raid, documents including 18 files containing details of the budget estimates were taken away by the police.
Goje, who is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, is being investigated for alleged fraud while he was governor of Gombe State from 2003 to 2011.
Reports indicate that the senator has spent lots of hours working on the documents in order to bring it to completion.
“In order to get full attention, he and many other members of the committee don’t just work in the office but even in their private offices to get the job done as quickly as possible
“But since this raid yesterday, he was not able to do anything, and you can say the work regarding the budget as far as the Senate is concerned has stopped,” the source said.
The proposed budget, estimated at N7.29 trillion, was initially scheduled to be passed by the end of the first quarter of 2017. The legislators at the National Assembly, however, slated the deadline for passage until May 5 as some inconsistencies were found in the first draft.
The police are said to be conducting further investigation following Thursday’s raid and said that a preliminary report might be ready on Monday April 24.
The sum of N24,126,000 was recovered from the residence of Danjuma Goje, the Nigerian senator representing Gombe Central, after police raided his Abuja home on Thursday.
The police found cash in sums of $19,000 (N5.8 million), 4,000 Saudi riyals (N326,000), and N18 million (Nigerian naira) from the home of the senator who is an erstwhile governor of Gombe State.
The police who are believed to have acted on a tip-off stormed Goje’s Asokoro residence around 5pm on Thursday, April 21.
Goje is being investigated for alleged fraud while he was governor of Gombe State from 2003 to 2011.
Although the police authorities are yet to issue a statement on the Thursday afternoon search, there are unconfirmed reports that they might have been acting on a tip-off.
An anonymous source within the police unit that stormed Goje’s residence said “Our men were there for between four and five hours and they carried out a thorough search.”
Initial reports of the Thursday’s raid mentioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to have been behind the raid, but officials of the Commission denied involvement.