Kano lawmaker’s office sealed
Damilola Oyedele in Abuja
The House of Representatives has said it is yet to receive any court papers regarding the suspension of the former Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Hon. Jibrin Abdulmumin. It added that while the suspended lawmaker has a right to go to court, there is a clear separation of powers between the three arms of government.
The Chairman, Committee on Media and Publicity, Hon. Namdas Abdulrazak, while briefing journalists yesterday, noted that the House is empowered by the constitution to have its own rules.
Namdas explained that Abdulmumin breached the collective privileges of members with his blanket statements that the House is corrupt. “…That we are all corrupt, that the public hearings and investigations are corrupt…the House has rules and if anyone errs, there are certain sanctions which are applied. What we have done is within our rules,” he said.
“There is no petition against any member before the Ethics Committee and we cannot investigate based on newspaper publications. He made allegations which he could not substantiate,” Namdas added.
Meanwhile Abdulmumin’s office in the National Assembly has been sealed by the ‘Sergent-at-Arms’, the security arm of the legislature.
This followed his suspension by the House on Wednesday after the Committee on Ethics and Privileges found him guilty for breach of privileges of members of the House and sundry acts of misconduct.
The suspended lawmaker’s 1.05 office was sealed at about 2.45p.m. Some of his aides were in the office when the ‘Sergent-at-Arms’ accompanied by some policemen arrived. The aides were allowed to remove their personal effects.
Abdulmumin was suspended for 180 legislative days in the first instance, and barred from holding a position of responsibility until the end of the eighth assembly. He would also be required to tender a formal written apology before he can resume.
He has however, vowed to challenge his suspension in court and insisted he would not apologise.
The House has been embroiled in crises since the removal of Abdulmumin as the Chairman of Appropriation Committee in July, just before the lawmakers embarked on their summer recess.
Employing a scorched earth policy, Abdulmumin had unleashed a tirade of accusations against the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, Deputy Speaker, Yussuff Sulaimon Lasun, Chief Whip, Alhassan Ado Doguwa, Minority Leader, Leo Ogor, and the chairmen of nine standing committees. He accused them of corruption, fraud and making ‘senseless’ insertions into the 2016 budget.
Meanwhile the suspended lawmaker has written to the members of the House demanding that they return running costs which they receive monthly.
In a copy of the letter which he made available to THISDAY, he said the N10 million which they collect monthly should be returned within one week.
“I hereby demand that if you have illegally taken or stolen any money meant for the running cost of your offices for your entire stay in the House, you should return the money within one week to the Clerk of the National Assembly and for the purpose of clarity, I am referring to about 10 million naira you collect from tax payers’ money monthly,” he said.
“The Clerk will provide you with official account details, failure of which I will take necessary action to ensure that you return any money stolen and stand witness against you in case of prosecution. I have written to the clerk of the National Assembly to stand by in anticipation. In the face of the revenue challenges and biting hardship the country is currently facing, there is no better time the country needs such money than now,” Abdulmumin added.