The drama over alleged budget padding by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and three other principal officers continued at the weekend.
The leadership of the House is weighing the option of suspending the former Chairman, Committee on Appropriation, Mr. Abdulmumin Jibrin, for bringing the House into disrepute.
The leadership of the House is also daring him to approach the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, with evidence.
The House leadership further counseled the Kano State born lawmaker and former ally of Dogara to stop his media campaign in the aftermath of his sack as chairman of the Appropriation Committee and do the needful if he has evidence to back up his claims.
The Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Abdulrazak Namdas, who threw the challenge at Jibrin in Abuja on Saturday, stated that the damaging media campaign embarked upon by Jibrin will serve no purpose except smear the image of the Green Chambers of the National Assembly.
He also insisted that it was not acceptable to members.
Namdas however hinted that the House may take punitive actions against the lawmaker saying: “We will deal with him appropriately in line with the relevant rules of the House.
“The rule of the House is not to engage in media campaign against its leadership. He has the option of writing a petition to the House, attached with his evidence, when we resume in September.
“Alternatively, let him write to the EFCC or ICPC for investigation. These agencies have powers to arrest and prosecute. These options are available and he should stop running down the House.”
The House spokesman, who fell short of categorically saying Jibrin will be suspended, however insisted that the House would use its “known internal mechanism for resolving issues like this” when members would have reconvened on September 13.
“We don’t want to keep arguing with Jibrin on the pages of newspapers or join issues with him. If we continue this way, we are only helping him to get the relevance that he needs. He is seeking public sympathy by throwing up unsubstantiated allegations.
“This is like saying if Mr. President should fire a minister for not doing his job properly, the next thing is for that minister to say it was because the President requested this or that and he objected to the request. Meanwhile, it was clear to all that you didn’t do your job. You begin to tell lies.
“We are on recess, and if we keep talking till tomorrow, nothing can be done until we resume in September.”
On allegations that Speaker Dogara sent the police and operatives of the Department of State Services, DSS to harrass and monitor him, Namdas said: “That is just what I was saying about seeking relevance. Dogara is not that type of person. In any case, why is sending the police after Jibrin necessary when the House has the capacity to address his case?”
According to sources in the House, there is the possibility of suspending Jibrin from the services of the House of Representatives when it resumes from its annual vacation in September for bringing it into disrepute.
It would be recalled that Hon. Jibrin, APC, Kano State, was last week removed as the Chairman of the Appropriation Committee by Speaker Yakubu Dogara, citing request from Jibrin to step down as the chairman because of pressure.
Jibrin however turned around to accuse Dogara, his deputy, Lasun Yusuf, Minority Leader, Leo Ogor and one other of removing him because of his objection to the padding of the 2016 budget to the tune of N40 billion. He thereafter called for Dogara’s resignation.
By Timothy Enietan-Matthews
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