One-time chairman of House of Representatives Appropriation Committee, Abdulmumin Jibrin, released series of evidences against Speaker Yakubu Dogara and other accused lawmakers in the alleged 2016 budget fraud on Sunday.
Jibrin who made the release at a press conference in Abuja, said he would not attend the Ossai Nicholas Ossai-led Ethics and Privileges Committee of the House, dismissing the chairman and members as biased, and the committee a kangaroo.
Jibrin had earlier given conditions to attend the committee sittings which began on Friday, as he insisted that it must be open to the media and public, which the committee obliged.
He told reporters that he had a verbal pact with Ossai to formally convey in a letter to him that the investigation would be open to press and public, but he had refused, making him to be suspicious of foul play.
Jibrin who said some members of the committee are accused, and that Ossai has been making comments in the media on the matter, in defence of Dogara and other accused, said he has no confidence whatever in Ossai and the committee.
He said Dogara was only seeking windows to get him suspended so as to run to the court to say that he (Dogara) has been clearedby the committee of all allegations.
Jibrin who stressed that he was not bothered about the outcome of the committee, said the evidences with him, which he had deposited with the antigraft agencies and the police, were sufficient to nail Dogara and others and vindicate him.
He displayed copies of budget details and other incriminating documents showing how Dogara and other principal officers and committee chairmen inserted projects in the budget with their names attached to them.
He also displayed indicting documents showing transactions and projects diversions by Dogara as alleged.
The Ethics and Privileges Committee which began sitting in Abuja on Friday, had already received and adopted evidences against Jibrin over his alleged breaches of the privileges of members and the House of Representatives Chairman of the House Committee on Rules and Business, Emmanuel Orker Jev, had on Wednesday raised a point of order under privileges, notifying the House that his privileges, that of his colleagues and the entire institution of the House of Representatives
had been breached by Jibrin, praying the House to refer Jibrin and the matter to Ethics and Privilleges Committee for investigation and possible sanctions, which it did.
At the commenced investigative hearing on the matter on Friday, Orker Jev tendered series of evidences in form of newspaper publications, video CDs containing Jibrin’s statements, social media comments, television interviews among others, to the Ossai-led committee.
Testifying before the committee, Orker-Jev described Jibrin’s actions as a sundry act of misconduct against the institution of the House.
While presenting his evidence, he prayed the committee to apply necessary sanctions as approved by House Rules and the Legislative House Powers Act, against Jibrin in the matter in order to redeem the image of the House, which he has destroyed.
He said allegations made by Jibrin were false, scandalous and had impinged on the image of the National Assembly.
According to him, the allegations had lowered the National Assembly in the estimation of the public as Nigerians now express disgust at the lawmakers. Orker-Jev told the committee that serious injuries have been inflicted on the institution and members by Jibrin’s libelous statements and publications, as members were even scared of driving in
vehicles with their official number plates in fear of mob action by citizens over an offence they never committed.
He said he was inundated by calls and text messages from members of the public across the country, who expressed shock over the allegations asking why the lawmakers had to soil their hands to that extent.
The lawmaker said if Jibrin was aggrieved in any way over anything, there were laid down procedures for him to have sought redress but certainly, not by pushing out such falsehood against the institution and individuals.
The Committee on Ethics and Privileges while adopting the evidences expressed commitment to be fair and objective in the investigations.
The committee however adjourned sitting to Monday, September 26, when Jibrin is expected to appear before it.
Source – National Mirror