Budget Padding: Reps In Rowdy Session, Refer Jibrin To Ethics Committee | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe

News

Budget Padding: Reps In Rowdy Session, Refer Jibrin To Ethics Committee

Dogara Begged Us To Forgive Budget Padding – Jibrin
Posted: Sep 22, 2016 at 3:50 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

*Sacked Appropriation Committee Chairman Vows Not To Appear

 

 

AHMED MUSA

Abuja – Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the House of Representatives, on Wednesday won the first round of legislative bout against the former chairman of the House Appropriation Committee, Abdulmumin Jibrin, with overwhelming support from his colleagues on the floor of the House.

Dogara, who presided over the somewhat rowdy session filled with palpable tension, got a standing ovation from his colleagues including Jibrin after he delivered his address welcoming members from the annual recess.

The sequence to Jibrin’s defeat on Wednesday began with a motion on matters of privileges moved by the chairman, House Committee on Rules and Business, Oker Jev (APC, Benue), wherein he raised a point of order telling the House that he was accosted by some journalists who asked him if there was going to be a drama resulting in physical fight on the floor due to palpable tension.

According to him, he promised that the media would be disappointed because the House would not degenerate into a theatre of war.

He, therefore, advised that the House conduct its affairs in a responsible manner.

The lawmaker, thereafter, moved that series of breaches of members’ privileges by Jibrin be cited and treated accordingly.

At this point, some dissenting lawmakers obviously belonging to the anti-Dogara Integrity Group tried to shout him down.

After the momentary commotion died down, the speaker re-read the prayer of the motion that the matter involving Jibrin be referred to the Ethics and Privileges Committee for investigation.

Amid dissenting voices, the question was put and those in favour carried the day with the committee directed to turn in its report in the next one week.

Protesting the resolution, Aliyu Sani Madaki (APC, Kano) raised another point of order also on privilege, alleging that the motion as moved by Oker Jev wasn’t seconded by anybody before he moved it.

He further moved that the former chairman, appropriation, also during the break raised grievous allegations against the person of the speaker, his deputy, the whip and the minority leader, a matter which affects the privilege of all lawmakers including himself.

Madaki added that “my advice to you is that you should resign for the matter to be investigated”.

At this point, Speaker Dogara moved to respond to the point of order by saying, “Even though I couldn’t find anywhere in our rules that enabled you to raise your point of order after a matter had been decided and voted on, let me respond to you this way.

“First, the motion in question was seconded, so no privilege was broken. On the allegation by Hon. Jibrin against me and some principal officers which you-yourself said disturbs your privilege, does that mean that all of us should resign? If we all resign now who would be the speaker to receive and accept your resignation letters”? Dogara asked amid another standing ovation which saw members handing pens and papers to Madaki to write his resignation letter and submit to the speaker.

Meanwhile, following the decision by the House of Representatives to refer the budget padding allegations matter by Jibrin to the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges, the embattled lawmaker has said that he will not appear before the committee, describing it as an attempt to dilute external investigation by anti-graft agencies and provide soft landing for Speaker Yakubu Dogara.

He stated that the whole exercise was a diversionary tactics by the leadership to sweep his allegations under the bed.

“I attended the sitting of the House today and carefully observed the proceedings concerning the allegations of budget fraud and corruption I levelled against Speaker Dogara and three other principal officers.

“But rather than open up the matter for discussion in view of the public interest it has generated and allow me to brief my colleagues, an opportunity I have been denied for several months, Mr. Speaker deployed some legislative tricks and theatrics to save the day”, Jibrin said.