- Rejects ethics c’ttee’s invitation
By Damilola Oyedele in Abuja
The former Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Hon. Jibrin Abdulmumin, has called on the Senate to invoke the doctrine of necessity and take over the functions of the National Assembly until the House concludes the process of internal cleansing.
This he said this was necessary, as the House with the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara on seat, has lost moral standing to discharge its functions, since it has failed to deal with the grievous allegations decisively and in a transparent manner.
Briefing journalists yesterday, Abdulmumin called on the Senate to pass the resolution if the Speaker refuses to step down to allow for independent investigations by a Speaker pro tempore.
“The Senate should choose between Dogara and Nigerians,” he said.
The embattled lawmaker also disclosed that he would not appear before the Committee on Ethics and Privileges mandated to investigate him on allegations of breaches of privileges and sundry acts of misconduct.
He is scheduled to appear before the Hon. Ossai Nicholas Ossai-led committee today by 12 noon.
Abdulmumin has however said he does not believe in the ability of the committee to be impartial particularly as he has not been able to secure a written assurance that the hearing would be open to the public.
“I spoke with him (Ossai) on phone, and we agreed that he would put it in writing (the electronic and print media would be allowed to cover), in the invitation to me, as I cannot take his verbal assurance alone. To my surprise, in the invitation, I was just told to appear. Because what happens when I come in and the Speaker directs a sergeant-at-arms to shut out the media or the public? Then they will say I have appeared…,” he said.
At the press conference, Abdulmumin displayed documents which he said are evidences of several of his allegations against Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Deputy Speaker Yussuff Sulaimon Lasun, Chief Whip Alhassan Ado Doguwa, Minority Leader Leo Ogor, and chairmen of nine standing committees.
He accused Lasun of inserting about 100 projects into the budget.
“Look at item 7, rehabilitation of a borehole, an existing borehole in his constituency (Irepodun/Olorunda/Orolu/Osogbo Federal Constituency) for N50 million…its sabotage of the budget by starving the budget of resources, and there is no money to fund capital budget. This is fraud, sabotage against the country, this is abuse of trust of your colleagues,” he added.
“At this juncture, I must confess that I am not an angel. I am imperfect and fallible, which are peculiar human traits. I therefore wish to apologise to Nigerians where I have erred in the past. I have fully repented and I will make it up for the country by staying on course, taking the personal risk at ensuring that I continue to expose corruption and corrupt persons in the House and beyond. This does not mean in anyway that I am asking for immunity against investigation and prosecution if allegations are brought against me. I am ready to go to jail if found guilty of any offense. I have stated repeatedly that in the five years that I have been in the House, I have never abused my office nor corruptly enriched myself,” he added.
He also pointed out other insertions which he alleged were made by Chairmen of the Standing Committees.
When the Chief of Staff to the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Bimbo Daramola, was contacted to react to the allegations made against Lasun, he said: “The Deputy Speaker would react comprehensively to allegations from Jibrin if its proven that any action of his is exercised outside of his statutory responsibility as a lawmaker and a representative of the people who voted him into the house.”
The Chairman of the Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Hon. Namdas Abdulrazak, in his reaction said Abdulmumin has been given his right to fair hearing.
“The Nigerian constitution gives fair hearing to anybody being accused of a wrongdoing. Our rules also give fair hearing to any member on any matter. Jibrin has been given the opportunity to defend himself. However, if he doesn’t want to appear before the ethics and privileges committee, that’s his business. But as far as we are concerned, he has been given fair hearing” he said.