Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Budget Padding Allegation: Reps Set To Suspend Jibrin * Refer Him To Ethics Committee.

Budget Padding Allegation: Reps Set To Suspend Jibrin * Refer Him To Ethics Committee

The House of Representatives may slam an indefinite suspension on former appropriations Committee Chairman, Abdulmumin Jibrin.

Jibrin has made sundry allegations against House Speaker, Yakubu Dogara and some other principal officers.

At a very rowdy session yesterday, the lawmakers alleged a collective breach of the their privileges.

The rowdiness commenced immediately after the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara delivered his welcome address in which he stated that the House under his leadership will remain accountable to Nigerians and will not be distracted despite the allegations against him.

After that, the chairman of the Rules and Business committee, Rules and Business committee, Hon. Emmanuel Orker-Jev raised a point of order under Order 6 Rule 1 (breach of privileges) stating that in spite of people’s opinions and projections on how events will play out on the floor of the house over the budget padding controversy that has trailed the House. He gave assurance that “lawmakers will not be seen exchanging blows or trying to snatch the mace”.

Orker-Jev pointed out that following his sack from the position of the chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, “Hon. Jibrin embarked on a campaign of calumny and denigration by making false and scandalous statements and publications in the media against the entire membership and institution of the House of Representatives and National Assembly as an institution”.

Orker-Jev cited several statements attributed to Jibrin in which he alleged that the House was a corrupt institution amongst others, noting the he (Jibrin) published statements with the knowledge that the allegations where false and libelous.

“Hon. Jibrin published these words and several others with the knowledge that the allegations therein were false and that they are libelous and defamatory of the members of the House of Representatives and the institution of the House.

“These statements were written, made and published with reckless disregard as to whether or not they were true, thereby scandalizing the House and its member”.

The statements and publications made by Jibrin according to the lawmaker are “contrary to sections 24 and 30 of the legislative (Powers and Privileges) Act. They are in breach of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives, particularly the provisions on privileges of the house and that of the members thereof touching or seizing the Mace Order 10 Rule 5(13) and (15). And are contemptuous of the House of Representatives as an institution”, Orker-Jev stated.

The House prayed that the matter against Hon. Jibrin be referred to the committee on Ethics and Privileges for proper investigation. The Ossai-led committee is to make appropriate recommendations and report its findings to the House within one week.

It will be recalled that while the House’ annual recess lasted, Hon. Abdulmumuni Jibrin amongst other things, consistently alleged that Dogara and three other lawmakers padded the 2016 budget to the tune of N40 billion.

The resolution was however without objections as some lawmakers tried to raise points of order while the motion was read leading to interruptions.

On his part, Hon. Aliyu Madaki challenged the motion stating that legislative procedure was breached in passing the motion as it was not seconded. He also pointed out that the allegations against the four principal officers are damning and called on the speaker to resign his position following the allegations made by Jibrin and allow the committee on Ethics and Privileges investigate.

But Dogara responded by asking him to resign first given that the allegations were against the entire House.

“We all knew who seconded the motion. The allegations were against the House, if I must resign, I will wait for you to tender your resignation first”, Dogara stated.

In the midst of the rowdiness, Sergeant at-Arm attempted to prevent a “Ghana must go bag” from being brought into the chamber but was overpowered. The bag contained mufflers with “I Stand with Dogara” inscribed on it and was shared by Hon. Zephaniah Jisalo, Kehinde Agboola and Herman Hembe to members some of whom took selfies.

The embattled former chairman, Jibrin who walked out of the chamber while Orker-Jev was moving the motion stands the risk of being suspended for six months should the Ethics and Privileges committee indict him of the “charges”.


posted from Bloggeroid

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