The House of Representatives has reacted to several allegations leveled against its speaker, Yakubu Dogara and deputy, Hon. Yusuff Lasun, by the former Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin concerning padding the budget.
Jibrin had earlier said that Dogara and the 3 other principal officers have been looking for a way to “nail” him after he refused to admit about N30bn into the budget as they had requested and rejected the call for immunity for principal officers of the National Assembly.
In a statement signed by Hon. Abdulrazak Namdas, Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, the House stated that Jibrin was removed following due process and not because he opposed the call for immunity.
However, Jibrin in his Twitter statement said that he resigned and asked to be replaced, a point which Dogara attested to in his statement announcing Jibrin’s replacement.
Read the statement below:
Our attention has been drawn to media statements made by the former Chairman of House Appropriations Committee wherein he made wild allegations against the House of Representatives and its leaders.
We wish to say that it is the prerogative of the Selection Committee of the House to appoint and remove. Committee Chairmen. That power has been exercised in the case of Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin as Chairman of the Appropriation Committee.
Most of the allegations on the 2016 budget process and his opposition to immunity of Presiding Officers are non-issues and mere afterthoughts manufactured simply because the House relieved him of his position.
If he had all these ‘facts’ before, why didn’t he make them public? Why is he doing that now?
Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin, like any other member of the House knows that there are conventions and precedents as it relates to budgets and projects for principal officers of the National Assembly.
Why is he making it an issue now? In any case, he is entitled to his opinion as a Nigerian and as a legislator while acting within the laws of Nigeria and the Rules of the House.
We must make it abundantly clear that he was not removed because of his support or otherwise on immunity bill.
Afterall he is not the only one who opposed the bill. The bill is still pending before Committee on review of the Constitution and it has to be voted upon by each member of the House, get Senate concurrence, endorsed by two-thirds of the 36 State Houses of Assembly and be assented to by the President.
It is cheap blackmail on the part of Hon. Jibrin to even insinuate that he was removed because he opposed immunity bill.
He should not distract the House from giving legislative support on important issues facing the government concerning the revival of the economy, insecurity, in the country, pursuit of anti-corruption measures, poverty alleviation, infrastructural development etc.
The Nigerian people are simply not ready to waste their time on personal issues and personal egos of our leaders. We should face the urgent tasks before us for which we were elected.
In a similar development, Dogara, while responding to some Twitter users calling for an explanation from him said that Jibrin is only joking, adding that the matter will be “dealt with by the institution (National Assembly)”.