Padding scandal: You can’t suspend me from House, Jibrin tells Reps

Embattled former of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations, Rep. Abdulmumin Jibrin has declared that the ethics committee investigating him for breach of privilege of the House and misconduct has no locus to investigate and recommend his suspension since the matter is already a subject of litigation.

Indications are that the committee on Ethics and Privileges, chaired by Rep. Ossai Nicholas Ossai will recommend Jibrin’s suspension in its report to be presented at plenary on Wednesday, after Kano lawmaker failed to appear before the committee to defend himself.

Addressing journalists Tuesday, Jibrin presented a letter written by his lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) which he claimed has been served on Speaker Yakubu Dogara and all members of the House, demanding that they desist from effecting his (Jibrin’s) suspension.

Jibrin, who did not present any court summons and details of hearing of the said suit filed by Falana, stated that the matter is before a court of competent jurisdiction in which the speaker has entered appearance.

He added that “so to discuss the matter in the House will be sub judice”, maintaining that priviledges accorded members does not mean that if a member is corrupt, the member should not be investigated or if a member is accused of an offence he should not defend himself.

“It is erroneous to assume that a matter discussed in the chambers should not be discussed outside if it is a matter of fraud. I enjoin the chairman of the ethics committee to also investigate the abuse of privileges by members, otherwise, I myself will take up the matter and expose it.”

The embattled lawmaker admitted that he refrained from appearing before the House ethics committee because he had no confidence in the integrity of members of the committee to remain impartial, insisting that many of them have already expressed their support for the speaker.

“Last week, some members were wearing mufflers in support of the speaker, but I will not stop this struggle. I don’t need to lobby people to come; if any member feel that I should come and lobby him to join this struggle, I will not do that.

“What the speaker did during the caucuses was to blackmail members. If they continue to toe that part, I will expose them.

“I was shocked when the ethics committee chairman came on television sending me a warning to appear before him and also gave a second warning on my non-appearance in my case.

“I am not taking what he said seriously, the House does not belong to the House of Representatives, the House belongs to Nigerians” Jibrin said.


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