Forgetting Abdulmumin Jibrin? By Gimba Kakanda

I was part of a group that met the lone fighter on October 3. It was a mission arranged by a social media community to establish the fact of his conflict with colleagues at the House of Representatives, which has resulted in his suspension for 180 days. The meeting was a re-introduction to revelations the lawmaker has already made, and an opportunity for us to ask him questions surrounding his new-found activism, mostly upsetting. It was a convergence of people who, ordinarily, wouldn’t have been under one roof because of wildly differing political inclinations.

Jibrin began with a familiar description of the Nigerian lower legislative chamber, attributing the disdain for lawmakers to their double-standards. He said that such disdain was inevitable since they are wont to grilling government officials in the day and accepting bribes from the same characters at night. This came at the time a video of Hon. Herman Hembe, a lawmaker called out for his corruption on the floor of the national assembly, reappeared and going viral. As the Chairman of House Committee on Capital Markets, the lawmaker was confronted by his victim, Ms. Arunma Oteh, of how he swindled her agency, Securities and Exchange Commission. It was a humiliating clip, and horrifying that the same character got re-elected and even had the audacity to rebel against corruption allegations against the House.

Said Jibrin, “What happened at the House of Reps wasn’t padding. What happened was a budget fraud.” And then came a clarification, that the National Assembly indeed has the Power of Appropriation, and that what he meant by his accusations of frauds by his colleagues was that that power was abused.  He disclosed that projects were inserted in the budget by a clique led by the Speaker, with neither consultation nor feasibility studies. The clique created projects and gave their own cost estimates suo moto.   How Legislators got to fix the costs of projects in the national budget over dinner or lunch really beats me. That is what they did. As to why his colleagues at the House of Representatives are unwilling to join his force against budget fraud, Jibrin answered that it’s because the Speaker has sworn to protect their allowances. And that, allowances, was my high-point of the meeting, the horrifying revelation that each member of the House receives N10 million monthly. I won’t even bother about the mathematics of this unfair use of public funds.

Though Jibrin was subjected to tough questions by participants, I thought it was a miscalculation for us to throw out the bathwater with the baby. My position is made even easier with his stance he’s not without blame and that the call for probity shouldn’t be centred around him. And true, somebody telling you his colleagues are abusing public trust and misusing resources of the nation isn’t asking you to make him a hero, he’s telling you to save your nation from those colleagues—and he’s not exonerated from the mess. I think that whether we like Abdulmumin Jibrin or not is immaterial. Our concern should be the veracity of his revelations and how to forestall recurrence of a gang of bandits creating projects for the nation and deciding their costs over a meal.

He only alerted the nation to a systemic flaw in an institution and how we are being serially scammed and taken for granted. It’s an insider’s revelation. Expected from a thinking nation is an alliance to facilitate conviction of all responsible, even him too, if found guilty. I don’t see how this is difficult to understand, why we have to be a drama queen over an unambiguous issue. Jibrin is a whistleblower. A “whistleblower” is only an insider who has information the people don’t. It doesn’t mean innocent participant. The word for that is “saint”, and saint is not a synonym of whistleblower.

To me, the worst twist since the House of Representatives corruption scandal began was APC’s letter to the whistleblowing lawmaker, asking him to stop revealing that abuse of public trust. That was evidence of one thing, that the governing party sees corruption as misuse of public funds or power by anyone other than those that represent its interests. Perhaps this is why the same APC-led government trying former government officials – and recording “successes” on the pages of newspapers – condones corruption by its people at CBN, FIRS and now the House of Reps.

Our politicians may have shown the public they are different, but the truth is they are all united in protection of their corrupt practices and roles in permitting them. Nothing was done about Sanusi Lamido Sanusi’s revelations of corrupt practices in the Jonathan-led government, just the way nothing is being done about Jibrin’s now. Whether Jibrin too is guilty is a distraction. My interest is whether his revelations are true, and that if true the transgressors be punished. Of corollary interest to me is why these allegations are being “forgotten” by a change-advocating government and political party. But it is secondary to the veracity of Abdulmumin Jibrin’s claims and action of same. May God save us from us!

 

Gimba Kakanda

@gimbakakanda on Twitter

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Chibok Girls: Jibrin Hails DSS, But Asked Them To Do Something About Dogara

Suspended member of the house of representatives, Abdulmumin Jibrin, has commended the Department of State Services (DSS) for its efforts in ensuring the release of 21 of the nearly 300 girls abducted by the Boko Haram insurgents group.

Jibrin gave the commendation in a post on his facebook account on Thursday.

He however called on the Nigeria secret police to to quickly arrest the speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, because he is dancing “skelewu” with public funds at the lower legislative chamber.

“Well done, President Muhammadu Buhari and the DSS on the Chibok girls. Every single life is important even if they will return home one after the other,” he wrote on Facebook on Thursday.

“But Dogara and his corrupt cabal continue to dance skelewu with our money in the house. Do something, please.”

Jibrin was suspended in September over allegations of corruption he levelled against the house leadership.

He wants Dogara prosecuted for allegedly “padding” the 2016 budget.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had begun investigating the claims, but the outcome of it is not certain yet.

Jibrin has vowed to continue his campaign until Dogara goes to jail.

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“Houses Of Judges Stormed While Dogara Is Walking Free, Says Jibrin

Abdulmumin Jibrin, suspended member of the house representatives, has expressed surprise at the raid on the homes of some judges across the country by the Department of State Services (DSS).

The DSS claimed that the ?homes of the judges were raided over allegations of corruption against them.

?But Jibrin, who had levelled allegations of corruption against Yakubu Dogara, the speaker, said that Dogara was walking free despite his allegations against him.

?”Houses of judges stormed! Meanwhile the number four citizen, Speaker Dogara whose colleague [Jibrin] raised grievous allegations on him walks free?,” he wrote on Twitter.

The DSS has vowed to continue its crackdown on the judiciary despite a public outcry.

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The ‘Tribulations’ Of Abdulmumin Jibrin And A Call To Action By Raymond Nkannebe

Nobody would have thought that a time will come in the history of this nation when a member of the National Assembly; an institution that has become somewhat synonymous with looting and plunder— would rise up to the occasion against its leadership, look the dis(honourable)  members in the eyes and say: you reek of filth. But the events of the recent past in the green chambers of the National Assembly seem to be proving our scepticisms wrong. Alas a messiah of sort has risen within the house and has left no one in any doubt as to his mission: like Hercules, to clean the augean stables and to slay the larnean hydra of corruption.

And like all revolutionaries in history who set out to exorcise an ignominious past and enthrone a new beginning for the greater good of the greatest number true to the utilitarian model of the philosopher —Jeremy Bentham, he has become the butt of vilest affronts at the hands of a cabal for whom the green chambers has become a pseudo money market. With the latest act being an unceremonious suspension handed down by an Ethics and Privilege committee so called, whose manner of commissioning repudiates the very ethos of good ethics. How true the lingo, that corruption always fights back!

Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin, the member representing Kiru/Bebeji Federal Constituencies  in Kano state at the House of Representatives and until recently the Chairman House Committee on Finance and Appropriation is no doubt in the eye of the storm. The circumstances leading to his present ‘troubles’ is one that has dominated public discourse in the public domain. His only fault as far as we are concerned was standing for the course of truth and transparency and speaking truth to power, but which his traducers say was against the extant laws of the House and has since shamelessly handed down a punishment to satiate their ego and prove a point. But all of those appear to be achieving the opposite and the man has since taken his case apart from the conventional courts, to the court of public opinion. A move that has continued to win him social currency and grass root support to the irk of the many who want him ‘dead’.

The trajectory of the crisis that crystallised into his suspension albeit by subterfuge, last week,  is one that needs no further adumbration as too many a Nigerian are now at home with the scandal that rocked the 2016 appropriation bill involving the principal officers of the House. But what provokes wonder and begs for decisive action is the extent the members of the house are willing and ready to go in bringing down the axe on a man who in saner climes should be deserving of praise.

At the resumption of plenary last week after a protracted recess, the near blanket show of support and veiled vote of confidence passed on speaker Yakubu Dogara choreographed by the infantile and agbero-ish adorning of “I Stand With Dogara” mufflers (mass produced by God-knows-who) by the Pro-Dogara camp was a testimony that ours is parliament where the virtues of integrity and good conscience have long been traded for both rascality and thuggery. By that ignominious act they unwittingly put the message across thusly, that an act only becomes a wrong for want of popular support. Therefore, whereas Dogara and co. May have padded the budget, they were not going to probe the weighty allegations simply because they ‘stood with him’. It was indeed a sad day for democracy in the entire sub-saharan Africa. However, they seem to have missed the plot.

It didn’t occur to the ‘honourable’ members so called, that the desperation with which they have churned out diverse strategies of buffeting the man only speaks to one thing: that he must have spoken the truth. And if not the whole truth, a substantial portion thereof. Of course, nothing else can explain the unbridled desperation with the latest act in the menu, being the surreptitious and clandestine manner the panel secured his suspension even though the man was absent. A process which many lawyers would agree was a mockery of the twin pillars of Natural Justice: Audi alterem patem and Nemo Judex in Causa Sua.

How could the committee have gone ahead to try the man when he had unequivocally stated his lack of confidence in its Nicholas Osai chairmanship? Why was the session not made open to the ‘public’ in accordance with the provisions of the constitution as provided in section 36(3)? And from whence did Dogara assume the moral justification to set a panel in motion given the enormity of allegations raised against him by Jibrin? Assuming the illegal suspension is not upturned, how does the house intend to carry on with holding plenaries without the presence of Jibrin knowing that the circumstance of his suspension was born out of contrivance and repulsive dislike for the truth? And where does the house place Nigerians in their shenanigans? Does the escapist act of calling a dog a bad name to secure its conviction a testament of bravado?

If the ‘quartet’ as Jibrin rightly dubbed them have no skeletons in their closet, is it too much of a thing to ask from them to step aside while investigation into the allegations are concluded? Is not a clear conscience, the best ‘candidate’ for a trial? Were it to be in a more serious nation, shouldn’t the likes of Yakubu Dogara, Yusuf Lasun, Ali Doguwa and Leo Ogor have stepped aside and wait to be given a clean bill of health by an independent committee of inquiry? Why then must a man who blew the proverbial whistle be made a victim based on the consensus of a ravenous cult whose hands are soiled?

Let it be said that Nigerians are not altogether oblivious of the magnitude of heist that has over time become the rule of thumb in both houses of the National Assembly. In no distant past several accusing fingers have been pointed at the legislative arm on allegations not too different from the type we are once again confronted with today.

Of these, two readily comes to mind. Former president Olusegun Obasanjo has more than once described the members of the assembly as bunch of ‘rogues and armed robbers’ who only meet at plenary to share their loot. The erstwhile CBN governor and current emir of Kano state, Dr. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi it would be recalled got involved with the National assembly four years ago after revealing to Nigerians that as much as 25% of Federal Government overhead cost ends up in floating the National Assembly describing the members as “corrupt and constituting a big drain to the national treasury”. It is instructive to note that on those two occasions the reactions of the members took the same confrontational approach that terminates in making a victim off the whistleblower or the pouring of expletives and vituperations on such persons.

That the current national budget could go down in history as the most corruption laden appropriation bill is no longer an issue for debate no matter what the national assembly wants Nigerians to believe. The signs are all too clear for anyone except the wilfully blind to see. And a reading together of the pieces of evidence that has become the rump of the budget presents the gloomy portrait of a budget process  midwifed under a climate of fleece. The stamp on this assertion being the birth of the term ‘budget padding’ in our political lexicography.

But the good news is that the man of the moment and certified ruffler of feathers— Hon. Jibrin Abdulmumin, appears to be a different kettle of fish. He is not a man to be barked nor shoved off. He has spoken and reiterated that sycophancy is not the hallmarks of his personality and has harped his reprehension for fawning adulation. He calls himself a blunt and fearless extrovert who’ll stand firm for the cause of what he believes no matter the tyranny of the majority. This much, we have seen in his countenance since the battle line was drawn.

While his opponents see him as man chasing vendetta, he is on the contrary committed to legislative reforms; which is a supreme good and not the impotent claims of abuse of house rules that is bandied by Dogara and his ‘Ethics’ committee. And this is where his campaign must resonate with Nigerians— the ultimate victims of legislative malfeasance, misfeasance and nonfeasance.

On the 27th of August he said on his twitter account, “when a new speaker emerges and the other principal officers replaced, I will write to the presiding officers of both chambers to commence a radical internal reform in the entire national assembly beyond budget, to cover performance, assessment, running costs and allowances, investigations e.t.c. If the reform so done by the national assembly is not made public latest by December, I will take it up and lay bare before the general public even if I am alone”. If only he had known that the Brutus and Cassius of our parliament were plotting his suspension from the house.

However, From this much, it becomes easy to glean that Jibrin feels the same frustrations and helplessness Nigerians have suffered under a National Assembly that has elevated impunity and incompetence to an article of faith and corruption a standard of conduct with little or no care for transparency.

Suffice it to say therefore that in the 17 years of the institution of the National Assembly since the turn of democracy in 1999, there has been no member with an acute distaste for corruption and an unbridled hunger for reforms and change like Hon Jibrin. He is not only the shining light of leadership with transparency and accountability, he is in the tiny league of elected public officials who reinvigorate the lost hope of many citizens that things may never get right here. He is our closest shot at enthroning a leadership culture that’ll not be guided by looting and rapacious plundering of national wealth but one that is anchored on transparency and accountability.

While the members have chosen not to stand with him, it is now for us to queue behind the man and call the bluff of the compromising lot that has chosen not to stand for truth and justice. While their numbers average the hundred mark, ours run into several millions. And our confidence should be renewed in the fact that absolute power resides with the masses in an ideal democracy.

Finally, how we handle the fleeting tiff between Jibrin and the leadership of the House will go a long way in voicing our true stance on corruption in high places. The options fortunately enough are twofold. Whether to keep silent in the face of the gargantuan injustice rocking the lower chamber of our national assembly crusaded by Dogara and the lot ‘standing with him’, or to join arms with the only symbol of revolutionary change— Hon Abdulmumin Jibrin who is set to turning around the crooked norms of the past and enthroning a leadership style and a parliament of our collective aspirations. The option we elect, may we not forget will be for posterity to judge.

AND TWO OTHER THINGS

Edo Botched Polls

Despite the controversial postponement  of the Edo state elections from the 10th  to the 28th of September ostensibly for security concerns, what transpired last week in Edo state assuming we want to call it an election could not be described as a model exercise that can be held out as a postcard for free and fair election unfortunately enough. It came with the full trappings of the impishness and rascality that have over the years become the poster of our electoral process to wit: ballot box snatching, monetary inducement of electorates by agents of political parties, visibly compromised security agents, intermittent problems with card readers, allegations of doctored results, police harassment and intimidation among a host of other shenanigans that put a huge question mark to the fairness of the process, if the reports in the media are anything to go by. While the electoral empire—INEC may have tried in making sure the process receives a clean bill of health with the introduction of the practice of voting immediately after accreditation , the influence of politicians have proven to be a huge storm to weather. It was therefore expected that the main opposition party— PDP would reject the result of the elections for what they believe was a stage managed exercise by Adams Oshiomohle hands in glove with the security agencies allegedly acting to the script of Abuja. But can it in all honesty be said that the PDP will be coming to equity with clean hands given reports of monetary inducement by their agents in their perceived strongholds and other places during the election? Couldn’t it have been a case of one party out-rigging the other? Whatever the case may be, It is indeed sad and most unbecoming that after spending huge funds in organising elections, political parties and their candidates still look to the election tribunals as the final arbiter of the fairness or otherwise of the process. What should be an exception have since become a standard practice in our electoral regime over time. What is wrong with us?

56 Years of Independence Ahoy !

Two days ago, we marked 56 years of nationhood. 56 years of a political freedom that has since made us the boss over our affairs both domestic and international. Like every anniversary, it is a time for introspection and retrospection into the future and over the past respectively. Many writers have expressed divergent views on the state of the union 56 years after independence. While for some, there is nothing to celebrate being that every anniversary presents only a nostalgic fervour of the good old days against a gory picture of a country presently on the edge of a precipice courting a precipitous fall. Others like Reuben Abatti writing on the subject think there is a lot to cheer about despite the nefarious problems that have dogged our progress. Expectedly, the mood of the nation foisted a low-key celebration without the pomp and fireworks that normally characterise the day. For us, 56 years of Independence readily brings to consciousness years of wasted opportunities and untapped potentials and sadly this trend may continue if we do not return to the drawing board to chart a new course for man and country. The most glaring evidence of this is the picture of a nation at war with itself. Of a nation struggling to reinvent herself. With secessionist forces  east of the divide beating drums of war and calling for self-determination; a most potent insurgency North east of the divide by Islamic fundamentalists calling for a Shariah state with reports of captured parts of our territory and a ferocious militancy in the creeks of the delta denting the wealth of the nation and threatening war, it would be understating the point to say that we sit on the keg of a gunpowder and may be on our way to Kigali at the least confrontation. Having said this, our greatest challenge at 56 is not our economic doldrums but the battle for our sovereignty.  Current and subsequent administrations therefore must as a matter of urgency do all within the ambits of its powers to placate all centrifugal forces threatening the continuous existence of the country for it is only when we have a country at peace that every other dividends of governance can be enjoyed. This independence therefore calls for more introspection and efforts at fostering national cohesion and not any form of celebration. God bless Nigeria.

 

The writer is a Lawyer, public affairs commentator and a Pilot Member of the “WHAT IS THE NIGERIAN DREAM?” project. He tweets from @RayNkah. Comments and reactions to raymondnkannebe@gmail.com

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A Stand With Dogara Is A Stand With Fraud, Jibrin Tells Lawmakers

Abdulmumin Jibrin, former chairman house of reps committee on appropriations, says “a stand with Dogara is a stand with fraud”.

Responding to the invitation letter which the committee on ethics wrote to him, the lawmaker expressed shock that the panel was investigating him for alleged breach of lawmakers privileges, rather than probe the budget padding allegations he levelled against the leadership of the 8th assembly.

Jibrin had accused Yakubu Dogara, the speaker, and four other principal officers, of corruption.

When the house reconvened on Wednesday, Dogara mandated the  committee on ethics and privileges to investigate Jibrin.

The house was divided along the lines of pro-Jibrin, and anti-Jibrin lawmakers, with those opposed to him hanging mufflers which had the inscription: ‘I Stand with Dogara’.

In his letter to the committee, Jibrin maintained his earlier stand of not appearing before the committee.

He said he would continue his struggle of “exposing corruption”, even if he ended up alone.

Below is the letter

The Chairman,
House Committee on Ethics and Privilege,
House of Representatives,
National Assembly,
Abuja.

RE: ALLEGATIONS OF BREACH OF PRIVILEGES AND MISCONDUCT

With reference to your letter on the above subject matter dated 22nd September, 2016, I write to state the following positions.

You will recall that in my letter to all Hon Members ahead of the resumption of the House, I stated clearly in my recommendations that I did not believe you have the ability to be an impartial arbiter.

To refresh your memory, I stated in the letter that “The Speaker Pro Tempore should constitute an Adhoc Committee to investigate these allegations in collaboration with the on-going external investigation by the anti-graft agencies. This has become necessary because from some public and private comments made by the incumbent Chairman of the Ethics and Privilege Committee, he has become an interested party in the matter and his ability to be impartial is in doubt. Also some of the members, including myself, who sit as members of the committee are interested party in the matter.”

You called me after reading my letter and tried to explain your public statement and further made efforts to convince me that you will indeed be impartial. I listened to you but I had my doubts.

Subsequent events after the sitting of Wednesday 21st September and specifically our conversation on phone when you called me on the 21st and 22nd have further affirmed my misgivings and convinced me beyond reasonable doubt that you CANNOT be impartial.

You will recall that when you called me on 21st, you tried to assuage my doubts and encouraged me to appear. I told you clearly I will appear under the condition that the proceedings will be public with access given to both print and electronic media, Civil Society Organisations, Non-Governmental Organisations, Nigerian Labour Congress, Nigerian Bar Association, Academic Staff Union of Universities, National Association of Nigerian Students and the general public.

I made it clear to you that it is under such arrangement that I will feel comfortable that the investigation, proceedings and outcome will not be manipulated or compromised. I requested that these assurances be included in the letter of invitation you will send to me. I cited an instance, asking you “what if on a hearing day, the public and press are shut out or are prevented from having access to House knowing the extend of the powers of the Speaker? What will happen?” You promised to get back to me the following day.

The next day you called we had the same conversation and concluded that you will put everything in writing. You can imagine my shock and disappointment when I saw your verge letter. Even more shocking was when I discovered the entire hearing is not to probe my allegations but to probe a so called breach of privilege of members and misconduct by me.

Mr Chairman, your letter clearly indicates that mischief is in the offing. You are inviting an accused to appear before you without telling him his offense. You did not state how I breached the privileges of the House and Members. You did not state the name of which Member’s privileges I breached so that I can take on the Member or Members and see if they can stand corruption test. You did not state the precedents and practices that I breached. You did not state what I did that amounted to misconduct so even if I intend to attend, I can know what exactly I am being accused of and come prepared.

Mr. Chairman, what further deepens my pessimism is the fact that in your letter, you indicated that you were inviting me to appear before your committee on Monday 26th September, 2016, but surprisingly you announced to the press that I shunned your invitation. This is clear indication that the outcome of your “investigation” is already predetermined.

May I draw your attention to the fact that the privileges of the House and Members do not accord the former and later immunity to being exposed if involved in corrupt practices and equally exposing budget fraud and corruption does not amount to misconduct. These are all service to the nation worthy of commendation. I strongly believe that you will be doing a great service to the country if you concentrate on investigating the privileges of Nigerians that Speaker Dogara and few other members have grossly breached and further investigate the misconduct therein.

You also did not find it worthy to investigate the grievous allegations I made against Mr Speaker and few others or even why the Speaker is yet to address all the allegations I made against him and summit himself to the security and anti-graft agencies to clear his name two months after I submitted my petitions.

It is obvious that the Committee on Ethics can not be impartial in dealing with this matter. I urge you and the Members of your Committee not to join this grand plan against the people of Nigeria to use the House as a shield to cover a small cabal which instituted corruption in the House for their benefits. I call on you to fear God and search your conscience.

Mr Chairman, I am on a crusade to expose corruption in the House and push for reforms that will clean up the House for the Nigerian people. There is no going back on this and I will continue this struggle even if I end up alone. I stand on all my allegations against Mr Speaker and 3 other Principal Officers and will pursue the matter in collaboration with the anti-graft agencies, other groups and well-meaning Nigerians until justice is served. The House does not belong to 360 Members but 200 million Nigerians. Nobody can cow me into silence.

Mr Chairman, this is a rare opportunity for us to salvage the House once and for all for the Nigerian people. I call on you to be part of this history. Members of the House have only two option before them, to either StandWithDogara or StandWithNigerians. A stand with Dogara is a stand with fraud and corruption. I stand with Nigerians.

Who do you stand with?

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Search Your Conscience Before You Destroy The House Of Rep, Jibrin Writes Dogara

Embattled former chairman of the House of Representatives Committee of Appropriation, Abudlmumin Jirbin, has written Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara, urging him to search his conscience before he destroyed the lower legaslisative chamber.

Jibrin is expected to face the ethics and privileges committee on Monday, on alleged breach of lawmakers’ privileges.

The house went inot a rowdy session o Wednesday following moves to suspend Jibrin over his allegation of budget padding against the leadership of the House.

But in a letter Friday, the Kano lawmaker said the speaker acted a shameful script by referring the matter to the Ethics Committee so that he can conveniently be a judge in his own case.

The letter reads in full.

I write you this letter to express the deep agony and pains that overwhelmed me when I watched a person with soiled reputation preside over the House sitting on Wednesday.

It was another bout of mental torment when I watched you taking advantage of the office of the Speaker and publicity inherent to vomit all sort of lies in a desperate bid to attract public sympathy, paint me in bad light and use the institution of the House to cover the fraud you perpetrated in the 2016 budget and other monumental corrupt practices.

It is therefore no surprise that rather than address the allegations of budget fraud and corruption I specifically leveled against you, 3 Principal officers and a few other members (not the entire House), and open it up for discussion if you have nothing to hide, you embarked on a wild goose chase.

Every right-thinking person knows that you were acting a shameful script by referring the matter to the Ethics Committee so that you can conveniently be a judge in your own case. You didn’t even refer the allegations against you to the Ethics Committee but rather chose to refer a so-called “breach of privilege of members” in a clear attempt to force members to carry your cross through a well-orchestrated blackmail.

To hide a lie, a saying goes, a thousand more lies are needed. Contrary to what you said in your speech, where you recklessly quoted TS Elliot, your so called maturity and silence during the last two months were simply because you are guilty as charged. And you know too well you are! 

In any case, you are aware the privilege of a member does not accord him or her immunity to being exposed if involved in corrupt practices. And if exposing budget fraud and corruption amounts to misconduct, then prepare for even the worst misconduct in the next few days.

You have successfully dragged 360 members into an offense committed by you and a few others. In the next few days, members will have to decide whether they are with you or with millions of conscientious Nigerians. No action that symbolizes corruption than standing with an embodiment of corruption.

Mr Speaker, I was taken aback when I heard on good authority that you were boasting that Nigerians will soon forget, and I will be left alone. Smiling sheepishly, my mind made an instant flashback, reflecting the struggle and sacrifice we made to make you what you are today. I then wondered how you forget the stuff I am made of and the courage of my conviction so easily. I conclude you underestimated how resolute I could be to champion a cause I believe in or stay on the side of the truth. My conscience is the guiding torch of behavior, you need to be reminded.

Mr Speaker, it was a shameless act to behold seeing you hitting the gavel and asking that investigation of such weighty allegations be conducted and report submitted back to you within one week. Just imagine that after the petitions I submitted against you, Mr President directed the anti graft agencies to conduct investigation and submit report within one week. You would have been shouting foul play all over. Even with the civilized approach of the anti-graft agencies you still went on air to say they cannot investigate or prosecute you. You have refused to appear before the anti-graft agencies despite pressure from the general public for you to go and clear your name.

Mr. Speaker, it is dismaying to note that the House is already sitting on a keg of gunpowder. Let’s see if history will repeat itself or history will be made. In any case, if we look at the history of the House, where are the accused and where are the accusers today? Who laughed last? Once you stick to the truth, God will be with you! You might force your illegal suspension on me, but I care less because I have optimism that most of you will go to jail.

In your speech, you called on the Government to take responsibility for the recession. It is leaders like you who steal public money front, back and center and abuse their offices that destroyed our economy and brought us down to ground zero that should take responsibility.

Your call on Mr President to address a joint sitting is a desperate bid to use the unblemished reputation of Mr President to shore up your battered reputation and credibility. I cannot make decision for the President, but If I were the President, I will simply relate with you with a long spoon because of the irritating and stinking reputation you have earned. 

You know very well that while you presided over the House on Wednesday, most Nigerians and those of us that didn’t put on the #iStandWithCorruption mufflers didn’t see a Speaker in you. We saw a fraudster, a rogue and a criminal who has become a disgrace to the institution of the House. Why are you afraid to open up the matter for discussion? Why do you find it too much a sacrifice for the country to step down and allow for a free and fair investigation to save the image of the House? It is clear you will do anything to hold on to power even on the alter of blackmailing your colleagues. It will be tragic if the House condones a situation where some few corrupt members will commit offense, and then use the institution of the House as a shield to evade justice. This is the script you are trying to implement. I assure you we will do everything within the precinct of our powers so that the corrupt members like you will be fished out and dealt with to preserve the sanctity of the institution.

On a final note, I have the following posers for you: Did you consult your colleagues when you and the 3 other principal officers stole our 40 billion? Or when you diverted federal governments projects to your farm? Who did you consult when you inserted fraudulent projects worth about 20billion naira into the budget? Didn’t you and members of your cabal go solo when you inserted about 2000 projects worth 284 billion naira into the budget, or when you manipulated the house rules and inserted draconian clauses, a House rule you continue to use despite the fact that it is a subject of litigation? What about the way you abused trust in the 2015 SDG? Or how you tried to force me to fraudulently insert projects worth about 30 billion naira in the budget? Can you explain how you absconded with 20% of inputs meant for the House after the harmonization? How about cutting a chunk off members’ emoluments for rent of houses and guest houses? Why did you refuse to circulate copies of the internal budget of the House? How about mismanaging finances of the House through questionable procurements? How about trying to use running cost of members for a fraudulent mortgage and many more? 

Mr Speaker these are the allegations against you. All members of the House are aware that I have raised these allegations, and whether they act on it or not Nigerians are watching. But what remains clear is that you have become a lameduck Speaker who is vulnerable and cannot walk with his head high. Do you expect all these allegations to be swept under the carpet? You have neither attempted nor addressed these allegations but you move around freely and try to keep a bold face. Do you really love this country? Do you really love the House or care about its image? Search your conscience, make a soul-searching and do the right thing by stepping down with the 3 others to allow for a free, fair and unbiased investigation in collaboration with the ongoing external investigation.

The House is an institution that always stand for justice, equity and fairness. How damaging will it be when the House can not deal with issues of internal corruption in a transparent manner? With a situation like this and moreso with a rotten head, who do you expect to take the House serious? How do you oversight or investigate others? You have made the House a laughing stock. You think Nigerians are fools? Try for once to look beyond the muffler-adorning members and listen to the voices of 200 million Nigerians. If you succeed in blackmailing your colleagues, you cannot blackmail Nigerians. Let’s not take the patience of Nigerians for granted.

When Francis Fukuyama wrote the book The End of History and the Last Man in 1992, he was not saying the world has come to an end but simply indicating the emergence of the last and final world order. What happened yesterday on the floor of the House was just the end of another beginning. The emergence of a struggle to establish a new order in the House of Representatives that will expose and deal with all forms of corruption both systemic and individual. 

Mr Speaker, this struggle is like the rising sun, it is unstoppable. There is nothing you can do on earth to stop it. No amount of lobbying, legislative antics or blackmail of members of the House, Senate, Executive arm or individuals outside the House can help you and your cabal of few corrupt members. The day of reckoning is so close.

We all know you blackmailed members to get support and wear mufflers in a show of shame to celebrate you due to the abundance of systemic corruption (which people like you instituted) in the House that makes many members vulnerable and dependent. To you it was a “smart” move. You just want the entire House  to go down with you because you know I will pull the trigger. It is gladdening that some courageous members defied your blackmail and rose to the occasion. History will be kind to them.

History will remember you as the Speaker who brought down and endanger the reputation of the House through budget fraud and monumental corruption. The House must embrace reforms. It is a reform you have lost the moral ground to superintend. How on earth a person like you who committed the biggest budget fraud in the history of the House will supervise budget reforms? It is time you woke up from your dream and embrace reality. The time has come, Whether you like it or not, justice will be served on you, Lasun, Doguwa and Ogor. 

God bless Nigeria.

Yours in service to the nation,Hon Abdulmumin Jibrin PhD MBA

APC-Kano

Kiru-Bebeji Federal Constituency

Kano

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The Struggle Has Just Begun, Jibrin Warns Dogara

Abdulmumin Jibrin, former chairman of the house of representatives committee on appropriations, says Yakubu Dogara, the speaker, used legislative tricks to save himself by not opening the budget padding allegations to debate.

But he insisted that “the struggle has just begun”, even warning that he would not appear before any house committee except its hearing is made public.

Earlier, the house had descended into a rowdy session where it passed a motion to investigate the breach of members privileges as a result of Jibrin’s allegations.

The motion, moved by Emmanuel Oker-Jev, chairman, rules and business of the house, said the lower chamber had come under “heavy attack” following the allegations.

Jibrin is to appear before the committee on ethics and privileges, which would investigate him and make recommendations to the house. If found guilty, Jibrin maybe suspended.

“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,” he said in a statement.

“In a move that smacks of abuse of process, Speaker Dogara granted under point of order, an opportunity to the chairman of business and rules committee, who started with a speech then suddenly transited to a motion under privilege — a clear case of manipulation and gross abuse of the house rule.

“This is the easiest resort since the attempts to secure a vote of confidence had woefully failed.

“But what happened on the floor of the House today is just the end of another beginning. I have never lived with the illusion that this matter will be a sprint, knowing the deeply-rooted corrupt interest of a few cabal in the House, headed by Speaker Dogara.

“I have all the stamina and agility to go the marathon and ensure justice is served. Despite all these and since I can substantiate the allegations I raised with cogency, I will take up the opportunity provided by the Ethics committee to state my case under the condition that the hearing will be public and will allow the Press, CSOs, NGOs, NLC, ASUU, NANS, NBA and the general public to witness the entire proceedings.

“Predictably, in his speech, Mr. Speaker tried to drag the entire House into the matter to give the impression that the entire House is the accused. I wish to state for the umpteenth times that the allegations I raised are against the quartet of Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Deputy Speaker Yusuf Lasun, House Whip Alhassan Doguwa, Minority Leader Leo Ogor and few other members — not the honourable house as an institution.

“The bad news for Nigerians is that in the face of such grievous allegations against the Speaker, which members are aware of, and his decision to sit tight, he has become a lame duck Speaker. But even more painfully is the fact that we will continue to call, though in the short run, such fraudulent and corrupt persons in Dogara, Lasun, Doguwa and Ogor number 4 citizen and principal officers of the House respectively.

“Let me use this opportunity to reassure Nigerians that the struggle has just begun.”

=TheCable

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Rowdy Session As Dogara Accuses Jibrin Of Trying To Bring Down The House

The House of Representatives was thrown into a rowdy session following what some suspect was an attempt to suspend Abdulmumin Jibrin.

Trouble started when the Chairman of the House Committee on Rules and Business, Emmanuel Orker-jev, moved a motion on breach of his privilege and that of the House by the embattled former Chairman of the Committee.

Members listened attentively until he got to the point where he mentioned Jibrin’s name; that was when members of the Transparency Group started shouting “No, no, no.”

This was countered by shouts of “Dogara, Dogara” by pro-Dogara reps, who started distributing green scarves with the inscription “I stand with Dogara.

Meanwhile, speaker of the house of representatives, Yakubu So far and has said that Jibrin, is out to destroy the lower chamber as an institution.

However, he expressed confidence that Jibrin would not succeed, saying: “If history is any guide, no one in a democracy has ever succeeded in destroying a democratic institution such as the house of representatives.”

Dogara said the house would not be distracted by “any insidious antics however well-orchestrated, and falsehoods however cleverly propagated to confuse Nigerians”.

Instead, he said the house would “remain accountable to Nigerians for our conduct as public servants”.

He also said The plenary was “not the appropriate venue to address allegations made against individual honourable members, many of which are criminal in nature”.

“There are constitutional avenues for that,” he said, adding that the lawmakers were”patriotic enough to understand the mood of the nation and the critical and sensitive matters of urgent national importance deserving our immediate attention”.

THE FULL SPEECH

1. INTRODUCTION:

I am delighted to welcome us all back from the annual recess. I specially congratulate our Muslim colleagues for the successful celebration of Id el Kabir. May the Almighty God be praised for His divine protection over us during the recess and for bringing us back safely. I trust that we used the time to interact with our constituents and have returned rejuvenated both physically and mentally to face the arduous legislative tasks ahead.

2. REVIEW OF RECENT DEVELOPMENTS:
The events of the recent weeks give cause for grave concern and pose existential threats to the corporate integrity and image of the House as a democratic institution designed by the Constitution to play a vital role in our nation’s governmental system. Shortly after we adjourned for the recess, our colleague and erstwhile Chairman Appropriation Committee, embarked on a strange propaganda clearly aimed not only at the destruction of the image of some members but a systematic destruction of the institution of the House of Representatives and indeed the legislature by portraying it to the public as an irredeemably corrupt institution. The chiefest motivation for his actions, as he has said severally and repeatedly is to have the four principal officers removed from their positions and not that the truth should be known. It was TS Eliot who once said, “the last temptation is the greatest treason: to do the right deed for the wrong reasons”. Unfortunately TS Elliot didn’t tell us what it is when someone does the wrong deed for the wrong reasons. These wild allegations which were initially directed at four Members of the House Leadership progressively engulfed the entire membership of the House and then the Institution.

We chose the part of maturity by maintaining great restraint in the face of all these, fully conscious of the fact that at the appropriate time, the truth will prevail. I have bad news for those who think they can pull down this Institution of the people. If history is any guide, no one, in a democracy has ever succeeded in destroying a democratic Institution such as the House of Representatives, although examples abound of such effort by people both within and outside the Institution. Ours cannot be different.

Let me assure all Nigerians that the House is fully conscious of its watchdog role in our democracy and will always strive to earn the trust and confidence of Nigerians. We are also patriotic enough to understand the mood of the nation and the critical and sensitive matters of urgent national importance deserving our immediate attention. We will therefore not be distracted by any insidious antics however well orchestrated, and falsehoods however cleverly propagated to confuse Nigerians. We remain accountable to Nigerians for our conduct as public servants.

This is not the appropriate venue to address allegations made against individual Honourable Members many of which are criminal in nature as there are constitutional avenues for that. This is more so that these matters are before all the security agencies and ridiculously before some Foreign Missions! It is however important to briefly say that nothing warrants the deliberate attempt at destructive public misinformation aimed at discrediting the House as an institution. These events have shown that we certainly need to engage more with the Nigerian public on the functions and modus operandi of the National Assembly, which is a democratic institution that relies on public support for its activities. I am sure we will emerge from all these stronger and more committed to attainment of national goals than before.

3. THE ECONOMY:
The state of our economy is of urgent and critical importance.That Nigeria has gone into recession is a very worrisome development that calls for emergency measures to be taken. All hands must be on deck to tackle the myriads of problems facing us. This is not the time for partisanship. This is not the time to score political points. This is not the time for grandstanding. This is not the time for blame games. The situation and the times call for bold, courageous, enlightened and purposeful leadership. This is a patriotic call to action from all stakeholders and indeed all Nigerians. We must unite as a people to rescue Nigeria from the shackles of poverty, social and economic underdevelopment.

To achieve the needed result, we must never shy away from telling our brothers and sisters that the change we seek can never be about what we are changing from but what we are changing to. That transformation has and will always be about what we embrace not what we have abandoned.

As leaders, we must take responsibility for the present economic situation although we are not directly responsible for it. We must admit that this is a difficult thing to do in the present generation that spurns responsibility. Everyone wants to blame someone for something that goes wrong. Unfortunately, history teaches us that no one, no nation has ever achieved greatness except on account of the creative hunger that comes with accepting responsibility. It was Winston Churchill who summed up this lesson of history in six words, thus: “the price of greatness is responsibility”. Every NIGERIAN must understand this so that together we will seize the opportunity this crisis presents to rebound and build a secure and prosperous future for our dear nation.

These are no times like any other, I therefore call on all of us and indeed the National Assembly to continue giving legislative support to the Executive on all well thought out and effective solutions to our economic problems. More than ever before, we must be prepared to listen more, think more and work more. We must also consult the abundant pool of experts both in Nigeria and abroad to fashion out short, medium and long term measures for dealing with the present crisis and setting our country on the path of sustained economic growth.

The recent retreat by Mr President with his cabinet and sundry statutory appointees is most commendable. It is in this regard, that I urge Mr President to consider holding a joint emergency session of the National Assembly to brief both the Legislature and indeed Nigerians of his plans to pull Nigeria out of recession. This will provide opportunity for all stakeholders to be on the same page and to act in concert for urgent national recovery. It will also further consolidate existing ongoing consultations between the Presidency and the National Assembly on the way forward.We must never miss the opportunity the present travails offers us to launch Nigeria into its rightful destiny and place among the comity of prosperous nations.

As representatives of the people we are well acquainted with the alarming state of the citizens penury. We will therefore collaborate with the Executive in fine tuning any observed limitations in policy formulation and implementation to ensure speedy delivery of services to our people. We need to immediately take a second look at the pace of budget execution; the spiraling rise of the dollar against the Naira and the multiple exchange rate regime; the impact of the Treasury Single Account on the economy, investment in infrastructure, tackling unemployment, among others.

4. BUDGET REFORMS:
Honourable Colleagues, there is no doubt that over the years the procedure for the making of the National budget has been generally unsatisfactory. There is not enough pre-budget consultations and interface between the Executive and the Legislature. The Appropriation Bill is often submitted very late by the Executive. There is no consistency with respect to the three year commitment on MTEF. There is no clear national development plan agreed to by all stakeholders, which the Legislature would be required to adhere to. The integrity and methodology for project selection is questionable, and often discretionary and whimsical. Governmental goals are not clear enough and the budget does not adequately reflect the priorities of government. It is in realization of this state of affairs that the issue of budget reform was conspicuously embedded in our Legislative Agenda unfolded for the Eight Assembly in July 2015. It provides in part as follows:

“The Budgetary process has remained one of the major challenges of Nigeria’s democracy since 1999. Legislative measures will be introduced to support and implement a proper budgetary process that supports a strong and robust National Economy.

The review of the budgetary process will emphasize the following:
• Promotion of an inclusive budgetary process that seeks the cooperation of the Executive in institutionalising pre-budget interface and consultations.
• Adoption of an effective Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).
• Strict compliance with the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA) 2007.”

On project selection process we had earlier committed ourselves in our Legislative Agenda as follows:

“Integrity of project selection process
Our commitment to reform of the Budget Process should consider the integrity of the project selection process in the Annual Budget estimates submitted to the National Assembly by the President. A mechanism that makes the process of Project selection more transparent, equitable, professional, accountable and needs based shall be put in place with the cooperation of the Executive. The budget process should include basis and justification for project selection.”

It should be noted that these were commitments made in July 2015, and not because of any recent events or circumstances. Moreover, in the House legislative calendar, Budget reform process was scheduled for the Second session.

Accordingly, as I promised before the recess, Leadership has already commenced consultations and a Special Budget Reform Committee, made up of experts and some Hon members would soon be inaugurated. We expect this Committee to lay the groundwork for a better budget process in 2017.

In this regard, we will partner with the Senate and also consult the Executive to ensure that the budget process meets acceptable standards that conform to international best practices. By the design of our Constitution, budget process is not the sole prerogative of one Chamber but a collaborative process involving both Chambers and the Executive.The idea of a Committee Chairman or even a Committee of the National Assembly arrogating to itself the sole authority over the Budget is preposterous and must never be countenanced.

5. THE ROLE OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY IN THE BUDGET PROCESS:
Recently, controversy seems to have arisen as to the role and powers of the National Assembly on Budgetary matters. I therefore consider it appropriate to say a few words on this matter.

From the community construction of Sections 59, 80 and 81 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the role of the legislature on the “estimates of revenues and expenditure of the Federation for the following financial year “submitted by the President pursuant to Section 81 (1) &(2) of the constitution is NOT CEREMONIAL. It is in the contemplation of the possibility of differing opinion of the legislature on the estimates so submitted that Section 59(4) provides a resolution by way of veto override. For the avoidance of doubt, our constitution has created a budget writing legislature. Section 80(4) prescribes to the effect that no public funds shall be spent “except in the MANNER prescribed by the National Assembly” This means that the legislature must diligently scrutinize the estimates submitted and cure all observed defects including imbalances in order to fashion a budget that meets the constitutional test of making laws “for peace, order and good government”.

Indeed the ordinary lawmaking powers of the National Assembly guaranteed under S.4 of the Constitution has not been ousted, even though the President initiates a financial bill. It is therefore inconceivable that when the legislature performs this constitutional function lawfully, it will be construed otherwise. The budget process comes to an end when it is certified by the Clerk to the National Assembly, being the only authority so designated by the Acts Authentication Act, LFN, 2004 and signed into law by Mr President. The 2016 Appropriation Act followed this procedure, strictly.

6. 2016 BUDGET IMPLEMENTATION AND NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OVERSIGHT ACTIVITIES:
An Appropriation Bill when signed by the President becomes a law of the Federation. All authorities and persons in the Federal Republic of Nigeria are bound to obey the dictates of law, especially in a constitutional democracy like Nigeria. The Budget is therefore not just a piece of paper to be treated with disdain. When the revenue targets are not met, both the Executive and the legislature are enjoined to work in a cooperative manner to remove any issues arising therefrom. Indeed the 2016 Appropriation Act in Section 6, has given an indication on how it should be resolved.When a Budget is not effectively implemented by the Executive, and adequate reasons are not given, it undermines citizens faith in governance, as the budget is perhaps the most effective tool for addressing poverty and underdevelopment. Government expenditure envisaged in effective budget implementation helps to put more money in the hands of citizens, puts more money in circulation and helps to reflate the economy.

We therefore welcome increased budgetary releases for Capital projects just announced and request for even more as provided by law.

In furtherance of the constitutional responsibility of the National Assembly to act as an effective check on the Executive on behalf of the Nigerian people, I hereby direct various House Committees to conduct a fact finding exercise on the extent and level of budget implementation by various MDAs. We must take our oversight responsibilities very seriously and report back to the House. It is the Report of the House Committees that will determine Appropriation to any MDA in 2017.

7. CONSTITUENCY OR ZONAL INTERVENTION PROJECTS:
Section 4 (2) of the Constitution mandates the National Assembly to “make laws for the peace, order and good government” of the Federation. Again under the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy provisions in Chapter Two, which are binding on “all organs of government and all authorities and persons, exercising legislative, executive or judicial powers”, more specifically the Economic Objectives in Section 16 thereof, government policy is mandatorily to ensure planned and balanced development devoid of concentrating wealth or the means of production and exchange in the hands of a few individuals or of a group.

The idea of Constituency or Zonal intervention projects is to remedy flaws in the estimates of revenues and expenditure where there is deviation from the fundamental objective of equitable spread of planned development. This legislative intervention is complementary rather than conflictive. The templates and project prototypes are designed by the Executive while the budgeting modalities are mutually agreed. As we have repeatedly said, no member of the National Assembly is given cash or contracts for the projects.We all know that execution of projects is the prerogative of the Executive Branch.

8. CONCLUSION:
I wish to once again assure Nigerians that we remain accountable and will strive to justify the mandate given to us to serve our people as we engineer positive solutions to rescuing the Nigerian economy from this unfortunate recession and rebuild a robust diversified economy. Nigerians should continue to repose confidence in the legislature as we assure that we will continue to work in partnership with Mr President and all arms of Government in order to deliver on national priorities for the Nigeria of our dreams to emerge.

God bless you all and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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Budget Padding: Reps Plot Suspension Of Jibrin As Police Summons Dogara, Others

As the House of Representatives resumes next week, the leadership of the lower legislative chamber is poised to send the sacked chairman of the House of Representatives committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin, on suspension.

Jibrin had all through the the recess of the House which began in July spilled beans on alleged padding of the 2016 budget with fictitious projects running to over N284b.

He also claimed that most members of the House diverted N10b in running cost that was not part of their salaries over the years.

Those indicted by Jibrin included the Deputy Speaker, Mr. Lasun Yussuff; the Chief Whip, Mr. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa; and the Minority Leader, Mr. Leo Ogor.

They have all dismissed the allegations as baseless and are believed to be pressing for sanction against him.

But just as the House leadership is plotting his suspension, the Special Investigation Panel probing the budget padding allegations will send fresh invitations to the Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, and other principal officers named in the scandal.

Jubril is however making frantic efforts to woo more members to his side as the prepares to resume.

Jibrin wrote a 17-page letter to every member of the House on why Speaker Dogara should be asked to step down.

This, according to him, will pave the way for a comprehensive and unhindered investigation of the allegations of budget padding.

He also asked for a comprehensive review of the House rules which he said Dogara has manipulated by inserting draconian laws.

He said: “The truth of the matter is that I stood against corruption. I stood against budget fraud. The Speaker and the three principal officers saw me as a stumbling block to a free flow of corruption and budget fraud. They desperately wanted me out.

“That is why despite the fact that I told him of my decision to resign, from his pronouncement, he had wished he fired me. I have stated repeatedly that I did nothing wrong in the 2016 budget, I did not abuse my office or corruptly enrich myself in the five years I have been in the House. I have stated repeatedly that anybody that has an allegation against me in that regard should feel free and bring it up.

“The pronouncement of my questionable “sack” on the floor was immediately followed by a heavy campaign of calumny in the media spreading falsehood against my person and family sponsored by Speaker Dogara and in several instances using the House spokesperson and later his spokesman until some patriotic members called the House spokesperson to order.

“But that was a joke compared to what followed after the close of session on Thursday, July 21, 2016. The plan is to execute my “sack” just before the recess so that by the time we return I would have been buried and the issue forgotten. I promised Mr. Speaker on July 21st that this issue will never be swept under the carpet.”

However, a National Assembly source, who pleaded anonymity, said Jibrin is in for a ‘rude shock’ when the House resumes.

According to her, contrary to what the embattled lawmaker believes that he has the support of majority of his colleagues in his drive to expose corruption in the House, Jibrin would end up being alone at the end.

She said: “I want to assure you that by the time the House resumes on Tuesday, Jibrin will look behind and find out that he is alone.

“Yes, he might think that this false anti-corruption garb he is now wearing is going to endear him to Nigerians, but he will be shocked by the time he discovers that no one would take him serious any longer, when all the facts about him are laid on the table.

“This is because Nigerians are not gullible to the extent that they won’t ask why did he not make noise about corruption in the House since the last Assembly when he was privileged to chair an important committee like Finance.

“That aside, the leadership will not allow one individual to bring down the House just because he is aggrieved for being removed as a Committee chairman.

“The strategy is to ensure that he is left with no opportunity to embarrass the Speaker and the entire House.

“In my view, the best way to ensure this is to suspend him and I think that is what is going to happen, except for a last minute change.

“We have heard from the grapevine that his intention is to constitute himself into a nuisance from the first day thereby causing commotion on the floor.

“Being an attention seeker, he is well aware that the cameras would always zoom on him while in the Chamber, so he is going to maximise that by suspension as House resumes raising all kinds of point of order.

“We are not going to allow that to happen because he is just an individual that wants to bring the entire House down with him.

“I can assure you that the letter he wrote to members was just self seeking. Whatever he wanted the letter to achieve has failed because he has also brought the entire members into the fray by accusing them of diverting the running cost.

“At any rate, why would he need to write every member if his fight was sincere in the first place?

“In a situation like this, your action is all that is needed to garner support on your side if you are fighting a just cause, it is supposed to be spontaneous.

“But in his case, he is just struggling to win the support of his colleagues that he has rubbished before Nigerians. That cannot work.

“There is no anxiety, we have also perfected our plans but ours is dependent on how he conducts himself.”

However, a member of Integrity Group said they were still studying the content of Jibrin’s letter.

He said the issues raised by Jibrin were serious enough to be investigated by external bodies but would not want the House to lose its integrity with Nigerians.

“We are not going to rush into what the Jibrin’s letter is asking of us. We are studying the situation and will only do what is right for this institution.

“If you recall, we made it clear before Jibrin’s removal that the Speaker should allow us question the wisdom behind Jibrin’s behaviour over the budget but we were turned down.

“Now that the story has changed, no one should be of the opinion that we are behind or sponsoring Jibrin, all we are doing is to get things right.

“Jibrin cannot tell us what to do, we know what is good for us and what is good for this institution,” he said.

On the invitation of Dogara and other principal members of the House, It was learnt that the special probe panel, headed by a retired Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Ali Amodu, would send the invitations when the National Assembly resume this week.

Police sources stated that the SIP had covered a lot of ground in its quest to unearth the culprits behind the alleged padding of N280bn in the 2016 budget.

According to a source, “the fact is that the house officers, including the speaker, have no immunity against investigation or prosecution; anybody could be investigated including governors and the President.@

“The immunity of the governors and the President does not preclude investigation. It only protects them while in office, but once they are out of office, they could be prosecuted.

“The panel has covered a lot of ground with the documents at its disposal, and it will invite the men (lawmakers) when they are ready to interrogate them and anyone who fails to show up has tacitly admitted that he is guilty of the allegations against him.”

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