Budget padding: Reps slam Jibrin 180 days suspension …vows not to apologise

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By; JOSHUA I. EGBODO, Abuja.
Embattled former chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations, Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin has been suspended from activities of the House for 180 legislative sitting days over his alleged conduct the House said affected its reputation.
 
The House in addition to the suspension banned him from holding any position of responsibility in the House until the expiration of the eighth Assembly, while also demanding that he formally apologise to the House in writing at the time he is due to resume duties from the suspension.
 
He has however vowed not to apologise, arguing that he did not commit any offence, describing the suspension as an action that would not stand since he was already in court.
The latest development was sequel to the unanimous adoption of the House’s Ethics and Privileges Committee report, which accused Jibrin of publicly making statements that were  “broad sweeping without proofs” in his allegations of budget padding against Speaker Yakubu Dogara and three other principal officers, and well as the alleged unmerited allowances paid to members of the House.
 
The panel, led by Nicholas Osai in the report considered Wednesday, said the House as a self regulatory institution has a mechanism for any aggrieved member to explore in seeking relief to his grievances, even when such is against a principal officer, or the topmost leadership of the House. “This legislative process was deliberately ignored and abandoned by Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin for reasons other than patriotism,” it stated.
 
The committee said Jibrin’s statements “taken individually and collectively serve to bring down the image of the generality of members of the House in the estimation of members of the public, thereby subjecting the House to public opprobrium”.
 
According to the committee, it relied on the provisions of Order Six, Rule 1 (4) of the Standing Orders, and Chapter 9(2)of the Code of Conduct for Members of the House, as well as the relevant provisions of the Legislative Houses (Powers and Privileges) Act in drawing out its recommendations.
Reacting to the development, Jibrin however told journalists that
“As you are aware, the matter is a subject of litigation. I have instructed my lawyer, Femi Falana SAN to file charges of contempt against Speaker Dogara and of course the House of Representatives and I’m sure the matter will move over to the judiciary and decision will be taken. I’m pretty sure it will be in my favour”.

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