Apologises for role in Speaker’s election
Damilola Oyedele in Abuja
Thee are indications that the face-off in the House of Representatives is far from over emerged yesterday following another allegation by the erstwhile Chairman of the Appropriation Committee, Hon. Jibrin Abdulmumin, that the Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara, directed him to be reporting to a former senator and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Iyiola Omisore.
He also alleged that the standing committee chairmen were required to swear to an oath of allegiance to Omisore, whom he said Dogara forged a ‘weird relationship’ with during their time in the sixth assembly.
In his letter to the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie- Oyegun, dated August 12, 2016, Abdulmumin apologised for his role in the emergence of Dogara as Speaker, but warned that allowing the Speaker to maintain his seat is dangerous to the party.
In a copy of the letter, Abdulmumin said Omisore is Dogara’s godfather, and alleged that the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, opposed his appointment as Chairman of Appropriation Committee.
“During the build up to the appointment of committee Chairmen, I had a terrible disagreement with him. I stayed far away from him. I was in London when he insisted he wanted to see me. He came to my hotel room and we talked for hours. I gave him a lot of advice but I never knew it was getting in from one ears and out from the other. He was more interested in telling me about the forces who didn’t want me to be appointed Chairman of appropriation committee as if I cared. He mentioned former Speaker and present Governor of Sokoto State Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, as one,” he said in the letter.
“I dashed him (Dogara) money, he thanked me and left. The following day, he pleaded to me to join him at a house in London. I went and I saw him seated very comfortably with Omisore. It was there he said he was going to appoint me Chairman appropriation and I should be reporting to Omisore! I was completely shocked. A nice lunch was served, we eat and we left. At least there are CCTV in London,” Abdulmumin added.
The lawmaker alleged that he confided in a ‘highly placed person’ who advised that he remain calm and concentrate on his job.
“My refusal to comply with such questionable instructions largely accounted for the anger of Mr. Speaker towards me. It was much later that I realised that Omisore had adopted Dogara as a god son since their days as Chairman appropriation and House services in the sixth assembly respectively,” he added.
The lawmaker has however shied away from responding to allegations that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) might have revived and concluded plans to re-arraign him over a N15 billion money laundering case in October 2011.
Abdulmumin and his firm, Green Forest Investment Ltd, had been charged alongside a former Governor of Nassarawa State, Mr. Aliyu Akwe Doma, and seven others in relation to charges of laundering stolen state funds totalling over N15 billion.
In December 2012, the EFCC removed his name from its amended charges.
The EFCC has also been petitioned by the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) to investigate the lawmaker’s role in the unscrupulous award of questionable contracts awarded by the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons in September 2014.
The House has been embroiled in crises following the removal of the Abdulmumin by Dogara.
Abdulmumin, employing a scorched earth policy after his ouster, accused Dogara, Deputy Speaker, Yussuff Sulaimon Lasun, Chief Whip, Alhassan Ado Doguwa and Minority Leader, Leo Ogor of allocating N40 billion to themselves out of the N100 billion appropriated for the National Assembly, and making “senseless’ insertions into the 2016 budget.”
He also petitioned the EFCC, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Related Offences Commission (ICPC), and the Nigeria Police, demanding the arrest and prosecution of the speaker, three principal officers, and nine committee chairmen for corruption and abuse of office.