ABUJA—THE House of Representatives was thrown into a rowdy session yesterday, following a motion by the Chairman, House Committee on Rules and Business, Orker Jev, over alleged infringement of members’ right and privileges by the former chairman of Appropriation Committee, Abdulmumin Jibrin.
The House, presided over by the speaker, Yakubu Dogara, resolved to refer the matter and Jibrin to its Committee on Ethics and Privileges for proper investigation, with a mandate to report its findings and make appropriate recommendations within a week. Jibrin had accused the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, his deputy, Yusuf Lasun, Chief Whip, Alhassan Ado Doguwa, and Minority Leader, Leo Ogor, of being behind the alleged padding of the 2016 budget. Jev in the motion, had stated that the privileges of members, practices, precedents were breached by Jibrin, adding that the punishment for the act was suspension for a period not less than six months. But he was interrupted by the Jibrin supporters, led by Aliyu Madaki, who represents Dala Federal Constituency of Kano State on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, who was shouting point of order to stop him from delivering his motion. This threw the House into a rowdy session. While supporters of Dogara urged Jeff to go ahead, those of Jibrin, including members of the Transparent Group, made spirited but unsuccessful efforts to stop the motion. Jev, who moved the motion about 11:48am, had in his introductory remarks, stated that there were expectations, especially from the media that the House was going to be rowdy, adding, “we will disappoint them.” He said: “I am asking for permission to move a motion on the collective breaches of privileges of members.” This was greeted with repeated shout of nay from Jibrin’s supporters, and for about one hour, the House was rowdy as the sergeant-at-arms quickly formed a ring around the Mace to protect it. This did not, however, deter Jev who went ahead to read his motion, which was later passed through a resounding voice vote and referred to the Ossai Nicholas Ossai-led Committee on Ethics and Privileges. As the melee continued, Jibrin left the chamber, while supporters of Dogara who were in majority, started distributing green muffler bearing the name of the speaker. Jev, in his motion, noted that Jibrin was relieved of his appointment as Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation on July 21, 2016, adding that a day after his removal, he (Jibrin) allegedly embarked on a campaign of calumny and denigration by making false and scandalous statements and publications in the print, electronic media and internet against the entire membership and institution of the House of Representatives and National Assembly. He said the contemptuous statements made by Jibrin against the House and its members were punishable by six months suspension. However, the embattled former Appropriations Committee chairman, Abdulmumin Jibrin, said yesterday he would not appear before th ethics committee. He said he would only appear on the condition that the Ethics Committee conducted its investigation in public. Jibrin, who represents Kiru-Bebeji Federal Constituency of Kano State, said: “I attended the sitting of the House today (yesterday) and carefully observed the proceedings concerning the allegations of budget fraud and corruption I leveled against Speaker Dogara and three other principal officers.”