- Kano lawmaker shuns hearing
Damilola Oyedele in Abuja
The House of Representatives Committee on Ethics and Privileges has said the decision of the former Chairman on Appropriation, Hon. Jibrin Abdulmumin, not to appear before it is a defence on its own.
This, the committee said, is despite acceding to his condition to make the proceedings open to the media and the public, and repeated assurances that there would be fairness and impartiality.
Abdulmumin shunned the committee sitting where he was scheduled to appear monday at 12 noon to respond to allegations of breach of privileges of members of the House and sundry misconduct.
The Kano lawmaker had said he would only attend the hearing if an assurance that the hearing would be open to the media and the public, was provided in writing.
He had also noted that he cannot receive fair hearing from the Chairman of the Ethics Committee, Hon. Ossai Nicholas Ossai, who is an appointee of the House Speaker, Yakubu Dogara.
Abdulmumin, after his sack as Chairman of Appropriation Committee on allegations of abuse of the 2016 budgetary process, had accused Dogara, three principal officers, and nine committee chairmen of corruption and fraud.
He had released a tirade of allegations through the media.
The House had last Wednesday voted to refer him to the Ethics Committee for investigations.
At the hearing yesterday, Ossai noted that Abdulmumin had written the committee and disclosed his intention not to appear.
“In my communication to him, I assured him that he would be given fair hearing. This committee went out of its way to make this hearing public. We suspended our own rules to make this public because Nigerians need to know the process through which we arrive at decisions,” Ossai said.
“This committee was constituted without knowing who would appear before it. Jibrin himself is a member of this committee, anyone of us can run into trouble. As Chairman, if I run into trouble, then I would step aside for my deputy to try me,” he added.
Earlier in the committee had adjourned for 30 minutes to allow the Clerk, Mr. Bwala Iyankuzo, make efforts to reach Abdulmumin.
The Clerk reported back that the lawmaker did not pick several calls made to his mobile or respond to text messages, while his office was locked.
The Senior Manager, News/Corporate Services of Channels Television, Abuja, Ms. Yemisi Ipaye, was questioned on the authenticity of the clip of an interview granted by Abdulmumin on the station’s Sunday Politics programme.
Ipaye, who emphasised that she needed to consult with the station’s Headquarters, said the clip, which was played, appeared to be of Channels TV.
The committee is expected to submit its report to the House tomorrow.