Budget padding: Jibrin risks six months jail term

TVC E. The former chairman of the House of Representatives committee on appropriations, Abdulmumin Jibrin, could be in for trouble if convicted of allegations of misconduct.

Jibrin could be sent to jail for six months in jail, be suspended or be fined depending on the outcome of investigation by the authorities. It was reported that, committee began hearing into the matter on Friday, September 23, with a testimony from the sponsor of the motion that led to the hearing, Emmanuel Orker-Jev. Orker-Jev, in his testimony accused Jibrin of maligning and defaming the House as well as inciting members of the Nigerian public against the members.

Orker-Jev told the committee that he was constrained to sponsor the motion which was adopted by the House at plenary after several of his colleagues approached him with evidence that Jibrin’s allegations offended them and also infringed on the integrity of the House as an institution.

He accused Jibrin of several breaches of the privileges of the House of Representatives, members of the House, as well as provisions of the National Assembly Legislative Houses (powers and privileges) Act. Orker-Jev tendered newspapers reports where Jibrin accused the House of Representatives of corruption.

Reports stated that: “As it stands today, these corrupt elements have infected the House, making the institution a hub of systemic corruption. “I repeat, there is massive individual and systemic corruption in the House of Representatives. And all Nigerians have a responsibility to avail themselves of this rare opportunity to flush out corruption in the House.” Orker-Jev citing the provisions of section 24 of the Legislative Powers Act, said if found guilty, Jibrin is liable on conviction to “12 months in imprisonment or a fine of N200,” if the matter is handled by the Office of the Attorney-General.

He explained that if the matter is handled by the House of Representatives, Jibrin could be suspended for six months. In response to a question on whether there was a precedence, he cited the case of a former member, Patrick Ogbahiagbon, whom he explained was pardoned by his colleagues after he apologised for making disparaging remarks about the House in the media. Meanwhile, Abdulmumin Jibrin, snubbed the ethics and privileges committee of the House which was mandated to investigate him for alleged misconduct following his continued insistence that Speaker Yakubu Dogara and others doctored the 2016 budget.

Jibrin said on his Twitter handle that Dogara had refused to appear before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) two months after he made allegations against the principal officers of the House and querried why he should appae before the committee when Dogara failed to appear before the EFCC.

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