By Onyebuchi Ezeigbo and Damilola Oyedele in Abuja
Embattled lawmaker, Hon. Jibrin Abdulmumuni has written to the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, requesting for police protection over claims that Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara and three other members are harassing him.
This is as the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of All Progressives Congress (APC) Comrade Timi Frank, has challenged Abdulmumuni to hasten and prove his allegation that principal officers of the House of Representatives were involved in padding of the 2016 budget.
Also, one of the officers and the Minority Leader in the House of the Representatives, Hon. Leo Ogor has described as fabricated, allegation by Abdulmumin that he, Ogor, alongside the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara and other principal officers allocated N40billion to themselves out of the N100 billion allocated to the National Assembly.
Jibrin in a statement by his lawyers yesterday in Abuja asked the IGP to caution officers of the force whom he said were being used by the lawmakers to harass him.
His lawyers Messrs Hammart and Co, Law Bond Solicitors and Doka Chambers equally noted that other security agencies in the country had been petitioned on similar allegation.
The petition reads in full: “We, (The Law Offices Of Messrs HAMMART & CO, LAW BOND SOLICITORS and DOKA CHAMBERS) are Counsel to Honourable Abdulmumin Jibrin PhD,MBA, member of the House of Representatives representing Kiru/Bebeji Federal Constituency of Kano State and until his resignation on the 21st of July 2016,the Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation.
“Our attention has been drawn to the subterranean and clandestine efforts of the following:
1. Speaker Yakubu Dogara,
2. Deputy Speaker Yusuf Lasun,
3. House Whip Hon. ALHASSAN Ado Doguwa, and
4. House Minority Leader, Hon. Leo Ogor.
“The above quartet have resorted to blackmail our client into silence and to further harass his person and family using the instrument of the obstructive coercion and perversion of due process by deploying, albeit illegally some elements of the Nigeria Police.”
It further said: “You will recall that our client is in dispute with the said quartet over his refusal and inability to admit into the National Budget of 2016, the sum of about 30 Billion Naira at the behest of these quartet and also his refusal to cover up the decision of Speaker Dogara and others’ unilateral decision to distribute to themselves 40 Billion Naira out of the 100 Billion Naira allocated to the entire National Assembly in addition to what our Client considers as wasteful projects of over 20 Billion Naira to their (quartet) various constituencies.”
“We want to state unequivocally that our client stands by the above assertion and will at the appropriate time prove same.
“We now have it on good authority that these quartet acting in concert are at the moment using some elements within the police to monitor, harass, intimidate and hound our client into an unwarranted detention with the purpose of inhibiting his right to move freely and to express himself as contained in Chapter 4 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended); the purpose of their antics is to upturn the narrative and paint our client as the black sheep in the flock, and cleverly presenting themselves as transparent angels.
“Accordingly, we have made appropriate representations to the Inspector General of Police and other relevant security agencies in the Country drawing their attention to this unwarranted and ill-intentioned steps taken by these quartet and not to allow themselves (security agencies) to be used to execute the personal objectives of these quartet; more so appropriate legal action has been taken by our client, as a law abiding citizen, to protect his fundamental rights as guaranteed by our laws.
“Finally, we hasten to advise Speaker Dogara and the 3 other principal officers mentioned here not to descend to the narrow aim of dragging the institution of the House of Representatives into their personal fight and to note that by virtue of the institution he leads and as a lawyer, he should act within the confines of the Rule of Law and allow the House of Representatives to institute a special investigation into this matter where our Client will have the opportunity earlier denied him by the quartet to testify and provide evidence against them because he who comes to equity must come with clean hands.”
Timi Frank said that it was quite disturbing and most unprofessional, the manner in which Hon. Abdulmumini decided to jettison decorum in a bid to bring the House leadership in total disregard and disparagement in the eyes of the public.”
Hon. Jibrin had accused the four principal officers including the Speaker of “not comfortable with my independent disposition and my refusal to cover up their unilateral decision to allocate to themselves N40 billion out of the N100 billion allocated to the entire National Assembly. The four of them met and took that decision.”
But in a statement he signed yesterday in Abuja, the APC spokesman said that “the National Assembly is a sacrosanct institution and must be made to remain so in the eyes of the public even where there are disagreements amongst Senators and Hon Members.
“Any attempt to rubbish this institution must be resisted by all democratic stakeholders, whilst resisting impunity in order to carry out its business of legislative functions to Nigerians.
“So why wasn’t this matter petitioned to the appropriate quarters for investigation since the leadership has no immunity of sort. Or was there a sinister motive to be quite and become an accomplice to the crime he’s stated in his press conference? I make bold to challenge Hon Abdulmumini to come up with evidences to these allegations as stated in his press conference.
“If the allegations made by Hon Jibrin, who instead of confronting the Members of the House on these weighty allegations of the principal officers is anything to reckon with, then the ICPC and the EFCC should have been petitioned to investigate these principal officers rather than rush to grant a press conference and bring disdain to the leadership of the House.
“No one can be bigger than the National Assembly. For the avoidance of doubt, Speaker Dogara must be commended for his role in championing people’s friendly legislation to the benefit of Nigerians. It is also worthy to note that this is the first time since the inception of democracy that a Committee Chairman of Appropriation has been relieved of his duty and as such we await the reasons for his removal from the leadership of the house upon resumption. I am therefore requesting that the Hon.
While calling on the lawmakers to exercise decorum, Frank said as leaders, the hournorable “members should realize that they are first representatives for the people, serving as custodians to our commonwealth and must conduct their affairs with decorum at all times.”
But Ogor, speaking to newsman on Friday said the development was unfortunate.
“Those are fabricated stories and the facts are in the budget, but this is coming from somebody who is a little bit upset. It is unfortunate but I don’t want to go into altercation with him. At the appropriate time, when we resume on the floor we will speak, but I can assure you that they are all bunch of lies and there is nothing in it,” he said.
“.You can read the lines, he has actually lost his committee. Why didn’t he make available these allegations all along? This kind of blackmail does not work with the likes of Leo Ogor, so you see he is just wasting his time, I am expecting him to come and put up a fight,” he added.
“He was the one that addressed the issue of this budget on channels (TV) and he accused the Presidency and the executive in respect of issues that bothered on the budget. Today, he is singing a different tune, and I think he is good at singing different tunes anyway,” Ogor said.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu had also on Thursday night in a series of tweets, said he would not engage in political mudslinging.
“I won’t respond to jokes. I’m not a mud wrestler, I owe a word on the subject to my friends on this platform. The rest would be dealt with by the Institution,” he had said.