There are strong indications that the House of Representatives may suspend the former House Committee Chairman on Appropriations, Hon. Abdulmimin Jibrin for the “unfounded and false media campaign” against the Speaker of the House, Hon. Yakubu Dogara and indeed the leadership of the House on resumption.
Nigerian Pilot Saturday recalls that on July 20, 2016, Dogara finally relieved Jibrin, representing Kiru/Bebeji Federal Constituency of Kano state of his position.
In his place, Hon Mustapha Bala Dawaki, representing Dawakin Kudu/ Warawa Federal Constituency of Kano state was appointed.
The removal of Jibrin had followed months of immense pressure by lawmakers and top government officials, who felt he no longer has the moral ground to head such sensitive committee after his role in the budget padding.
Jibrin was removed as the appropriation committee chairman after it was discovered that he used his position to allocate over 20 projects to his constituency in the 2016 budget, thus raising the total sum to about N4 billion.
Shortly after his removal, Jibrin alleged that Dogara requested for the insertion of about N30 billion worth of personal projects in the budget.
He accused Dogara and the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Yusuf Lasun of diverting millions of naira in the name of paying for guesthouses and official residence.
He also stated that the requests of the entire body of principal officers, the Chief Whip, Hon. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa and the Minority Leader, Hon. Leo Ogor inserted personal projects in the 2016 budget worth up to N100 billion.
Our correspondent yesterday gathered that the leadership of the House might be forced to suspend Jibrin as a “punitive measure” when it resumes plenary on September 13.
In view of several allegations against the speaker and leadership of the House, a reliable source at the National Assembly confided in Nigerian Pilot Saturday that the House might call-off its long recess to deal with the budget-padding saga.
The source explained that since the issue had been in public domain for some time, it was imperative to cut-short its recess to clear the allegations and counter allegations surrounding the budget padding.
Although the House Committee Chairman on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Abdulrazak Namdas has dismissed that it is not likely that they will cut-short its recess because of the budget padding allegations, the call for the speaker to immediately reconvene the House is mounting gradually.
Namdas had said that they will deal with Jibrin appropriately in line with the relevant rules of the House.
He further explained that instead of engaging in a media war, Jibrin should have waited for the House to resume so he could forward his petition to the House and attached it with his evidence.
The House spokesman also refuted the allegations by Jibrin on the 2016 budget process as non issues and mere after thought manufactured simply because the House relieved him of his position.
Namdas wondered why Jibrin did not make his allegation public if he had all these facts before his removal.
It was, however, gathered that as soon as the House reconvenes from its recess, the matter would be referred to the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges for thorough investigation.
The Ethics Committee led by Hon Nicholas Ossai has kept sealed lips on the matter, refusing to make any comment.
It would be recalled that the lower chamber on July 21, 2016 adjourned plenary to September 13, 2016 for its long recess.

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