Budget Padding: Jibrin Gives Conditions to Appear Before Committee

Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin

The embattled former House of Representatives Appropriation Committee, Abdulmumin Jibrin has given conditions under which he would appear before the Ethics committee.

According to him, he would only appear before the committee if civil society organisations, labour unions, student groups and members of the public are allowed to observe proceedings.

Jibrin had in a letter dated September 23, 2016, addressed to the  committee Chairman, said he was surprised that instead of the committee addressing the allegations against the Speaker and those accused of corrupt practices, he was being put on trial.

On allegations levelled against him, the former Appropriations Committee chairman said, “May I draw your attention to the fact that the privileges of the House and Members do not accord the former and latter immunity to being exposed if involved in corrupt practices and equally, exposing budget fraud and corruption does not amount to misconduct.

“These are all service to the nation worthy of commendation. I strongly believe that you will be doing a great service to the country if you concentrate on investigating the privileges of Nigerians that Speaker Dogara and few other members have grossly breached and further investigate the misconduct therein.”

Meanwhile, human rights activist, Femi Falana (SAN), has demanded the immediate suspension of the activities of the House of Representatives Committee on Ethics and Privileges which began hearing of an allegation against Jibrin, his client.

Stating in a letter dated September 23, 2016, Falana said investigating Jibrin contradicts the standing orders of the House.

In the personal letter Jibrin wrote to Dogara, he maintained that his allegations of corruption against the Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Yusuff Lasun, Whip Alhassan Doguwa and Minority Leader, Leo Ogor three other leaders of the House remain valid.

He explained that he was in pain and deep agony as he watched the Speaker, whom he said had a soiled reputation presiding over the House on Wednesday.

According to him, it was another bout of mental torment when he watched the Speaker taking advantage of the office to lie in what he referred to as a desperate bid to attract public sympathy, “paint me in bad light and use the institution of the House to cover the fraud you perpetrated in the 2016 budget and other monumental corrupt practices.”

He stressed that he was not surprised that rather than address the allegations of budget fraud and corruption levelled against him and three principal officers of the House and open the matter up for discussions, the Speaker “embarked on a wild goose chase.”

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