HOUSE of Representatives is set for a stormy session as National Assembly resumes sitting tomorrow after two months of long recess. The House had on July 20, 2016 adjourned plenary to September 13, 2016 but was forced to postpone its resumption date by one week due to the Eid-el-Kabir celebration. Ahead of its resumption tomorrow, there are strong indications that the former appropriation committee chairman, Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin and few other lawmakers will push for the speaker, Hon. Yakubu Dogara and other accused principal officers to resign so as to allow for thorough investigation into his allegations. The other accused persons are the deputy speaker, Hon. Yussuff Lasun; the Chief Whip, Hon. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa and the Minority Leader, Hon. Leo Ogor. While on recess, Jibrin had not only accused the speaker and other principal officers of padding the budget discreetly and dishonestly to the tune of N100bn, but had also gone to the Nigerian Police, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, ICPC to submit what he claims to be a petition against the accused lawmakers. He also appeared before the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, led by Prof. Itse Sagay as well as the Special Investigative Panel, SIP led by an Assistant Inspector-General of Police, AIG Amodu Ali (retd) to prove his allegations. A senior National Assembly staff yesterday confided in Nigerian Pilot that in view of what transpired during its recess, there were palpable tension and anxiety as the lawmakers finally resume the business of lawmaking. He hinted that there will be a stormy session on the floor of the House because Jibrin and few of his supporters will insist that the business of the House will not go on until the accused persons resign from their positions. The source stressed that the only agenda of the House tomorrow will be to trash out the allegations surrounding the 2016 budget by allowing external organs such as the EFCC and DSS to carry out the probe. Meanwhile, our correspondent gathered over the weekend that the House may suspend the former House Committee Chairman on Appropriations, Hon. Abdulmimin Jibrin for the “unfounded and false media campaign” against the speaker
and indeed the leadership of the House on resumption. 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 N4bn 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 Yussuff Lasun of diverting millions of Naira in the name of paying for guest houses and official residence. Our correspondent further gathered that the leadership of the House might be forced to suspend Jibrin as a “punitive measure” when it resumes plenary tomorrow. In view of several allegations against the leadership of the House, many had thought that the lower chamber would have called-off its long recess to deal with the budget padding saga because of the weighty allegation. The House Committe Chairman on Media and Public Affairs, Hon. Abdulrazak Namdas had dismissed that it was not likely that they will cut-short its recess because of the budget padding allegations, adding 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 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. Shortly before the House embarked on its long recess, the speaker, Hon Yakubu Dogara, relieved the Committee Chairman on Appropriations, Hon Abdulmumin Jibrin, representing Kiru/Bebeji Federal Constituency of Kano state of his position. In his place, Dogara appointed Hon Mustapha Bala Dawaki, representing Dawakin Kudu/ Warawa Federal Constituency of Kano state as Jibrin’s replacement.


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