There are strong indications that the House of Representatives may suspend a former House Committee Chairman on Appropriation, Abdulmimin Jibrin, for the ‘unfounded and false media campaign’ against the leadership of the House on resumption.
Nigerian Pilot recalls that on Wednesday last week, Speaker Yakubu Dogara finally relieved Jibrin, representing Kiru/Bebeji Federal Constituency of Kano State, of his position.
In his place, Dogara appointed Mustapha Bala Dawaki, representing Dawakin Kudu/ Warawa Federal Constituency of Kano State. Before his new appointment, Dawaki was the House Committee Chairman on Housing.
The removal of Jibrin followed months of immense pressure by lawmakers and top government officials, who felt he no longer has the moral ground to head such a sensitive committee after his role in the budget padding.
In the budget padding, Jibrin was accused of using his position to allocate over 20 projects to his constituency, thus raising the total sum to about N4 billion.
A breakdown of the projects showed that there are 10 under the Ministry of Works, which are construction and rehabilitation of the works centre, N100m; construction of town hall, N100m; block of classrooms, undisclosed; rehabilitation of Sharada – Kwanar Dogara, N1.445bn; solar street lights, N300m; drainage, N20m; rehabilitation of Gwarzo Kiru, Kwanar Maiyaki, N180m; Kiru – Badaf road construction, N405m; rehabilitation and construction of roads in Kiru/Bebeji, N150m and construction of pedestrian bridges, N200m.
In a terse statement that Jibrin issued after he resigned, he alleged that Dogara requested for the insertion of about N30 billion worth of personal projects into the controversial budget. He also stated that the requests of the entire body of principal officers for insertion of personal projects amounted to about N100 billion.
He mentioned some of the principal officers involved in the alleged budget scam as the House Minority Leader, Leo Ogor and the Chief Whip, Alhassan Ado Doguwa.
The Kano born lawmaker also hinted that there were lots of documentary evidence against the principal officers of the House and assured that he would make them available in due course.
It was gathered yesterday that the leadership of the House might be forced to suspend Jibrin as a “punitive measure” when it resumes plenary on September 13.
Our correspondent learnt from the Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Abdulrazak Namdas, that they will deal with Jibrin appropriately in line with the relevant rules of the House.
Namdas explained that instead of engaging in a media war, he should have waited for the House to resume so that he would forward his petition to the House and attach it with his evidence.
The House spokesman also refuted the allegations by Jibrin on the 2016 budget process as non-issues and a 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.
Shortly after he was relieved, Jibrin said he had stepped down as chairman of the committee and apologised to some members who were not aware of his latest decision.
He added that as chairman of the committee, he did his best, stressing that he had never been found wanting or accused of any wrongdoing.
The Kano born lawmaker stressed that though he had done no wrong, he would take responsibility of any wrongdoing committed by the committee by resigning as chairman.
He said he took the decision after due consultations with his family, adding that he had no regret taking such decision.
Jibrin hinted that he resigned on his own volition and denied that he was forced to do so.
The lower chamber on July 21adjourned plenary to September 13 for its long recess.


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