Damilola Oyedele in Abuja
The House of Representatives Committee on Ethics and Privileges has insisted it exhibited fairness in the conduct of its proceedings while investigating the former Chairman of the Committee on Appropriation, Hon. Jibrin Abdulmumin on allegations of breaches of privileges of members of the House, and sundry acts of misconduct.
The committee also noted that it did not receive any court order or notice of court, mandating it to suspend the hearing.
Abdulmumin has since challenged his suspension by the House of Representatives in Court, demanding the sum of N1 billion in damages. He was suspended for 180 legislative days following the adoption of the recommendations of the Ethics Committee by the House.
The Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Ossai Nicholas Ossai speaking with newsmen on Tuesday, said the suspended lawmaker was invited to appear and defend himself of the allegations leveled against him.
“When you write a committee that you will not appear, that in itself is a defence. You were invited to state your side, make your defence. Opportunity was given to Jibrin to come and prove, and he declined. It shows he had just been feeding Nigerians with lies that cannot be proven,” he said.
“…our proceedings were open, questions were asked, answers were provided,” Ossai added.
The lawmaker however declined to respond to allegations by Abdulmumin that he, Ossai, is one of several lawmakers who divert running cost allowances to private use.
“I will not join issues with a suspended member. When he resumes and raises it, then I will respond as an issue coming from a member,” Ossai said.
It should be recalled that following his removal as Chairman of Appropriation Committee, Abdulmumin had accused Speaker Yakubu Dogara and others of corruption, fraud and abuse of office.