Budget padding controversy: Jibrin dares House of Reps, shuns Reps Ethics Committee
Posted by News Express | 26 September 2016 | 1,565 times
Former Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin, on Monday failed to appear before the House Ethics and Privileges Committee, investigating claims of misconduct against him.
The ethics panel investigating Jibrin for breaching the privileges of the House started sitting on Friday.
Chairman of the committee, Nicholas Ossai, had urged Jibrin to appear on Monday at 12pm, but he failed to show up to the proceedings.
Ossai, who stated that it will be in the interest of Jibrin to appear before the Ethics Committee, has assured that the committee would work impartially in addressing his case.
Jibrin initially promised to come before the ethics panel if the proceedings were opened to the public.
However, by weekend, he made a U-turn saying the House has lost the moral ground to discharge its legislative functions as it has failed to address the allegations decisively.
Jibrin accused the committee of bias and lack of independence.
His lawyer has also written to the Speaker, asking him to discontinue the investigation.
On Sunday he told newsmen in Abuja, “I wish to state that the allegations I raised are against the quartet of Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Deputy Speaker Yusuf Lasun, House Whip Alhassan Doguwa, Minority Leader Leo Ogor and few other members NOT the Honourable House as an institution.”
“I have all the stamina and agility to go the marathon and ensure justice is served. I have said repeatedly I stand by my allegations and will continue this struggle to expose the 2016 budget fraud and corruption in the House even if I am alone and the general public to witness the entire proceedings.”
Jibrin also called on the Senate to take a stand and insist that the House of Representatives address the allegations.
The investigation by the House of Representatives Committee on Ethics and Privileges followed a resolution by the House to probe the allegations of padding of the 2016 budget by some of its members.
The House has been rocked by budget fraud scandal triggered by Jibrin, who accused the speaker, Yakubu Dogara, and three others of “padding” the budget with billions of naira of fictitious projects.
Some members have instead accused – Jibrin of violating their rights, by making the allegation publicly – rather than follow internal procedure. (TV360 Nigeria)