By Adenike Lucas
The former chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations, Honourable Abdulmumini Jibrin has refused to back down from budget padding allegation he made against Speaker, Hon Yakubu Dogara despite show of support for the Speaker by the leadership of the lower chamber.
The House leadership, which includes the presiding officer who represents Bauchi State and Minority leader Femi Gbajabiamila stated on Thursday August 18, that the allegation made by their Kano state counterpart were “wild, baseless and unfounded.”
In their statement, the lawmakers took “full responsibility” for the removal of Hon Jibrin from his post.
“The decision to relieve the erstwhile appropriation chairman of his position was a collective decision of the leadership in response to unrelenting pressures from the overwhelming majority of Honourable Members who were irked by the former chairman’s gross abuse of the budget process,” part of the statement reads.
“Good enough, all the said allegations raise are issues that can be easily verified and the public will be availed ample opportunity upon resumption of the House,” in September.
Hon Jibirin, 39, the member representing Kiru/Bebeji Federal constituency of Kano State has always denied reports that he was sacked.
In his past tweet, he explained that he had decided to step down in the “interest of the House and the country at large, in order to let peace reign.”
Following the statement signed by principal officers of the lower legislative chamber, Hon Jibrin took to twitter via @AbdulAbmJ to state his own side of the matter.
He said “the #DogaraGateScandal, I knew that nothing better than a junk befitting the dustbin would come out of it.
“I was convinced about that & can reasonably draw inference because shameless crooks, corrupt and fraudulent persons like Speaker (Yakubu) Dogara, Deputy (Yusuf) Lasun, Whip (Ado) Doguwa and a common criminal like the minority leader Leo Ogor were in the meeting.
He states: “Dogara’s antics were last kicks of a dying horse.” He reiterated his call for the sack of the Speaker.
“Looking beyond the corrupt regime of Yakubu Dogara, the first duty of the new speaker is to implement a wide range of internal reforms,” he said. Speaker Dogara does not have the credibility to superintend over the reforms.
A Federal High Court Judge, Justice Okon Abang refused to hear suits FHC/ABJ/CS/595/2016 filed by Hon Dr Jibrin lodge before it.
Hon Jibrin who accused the Speaker, his Deputy and others of padding the budget believes those he accused of wrong doing were planning to suspend him from the House, hence his request to the court to prevent them from doing so.
In a short ruling, Justice Abang, who is sitting as a vacation judge stated that ” a matter filed during court vacation is not heard as a matter of cause.
“The applicant is expected to apply and obtain the leave of court to have this matter heard during the court vacation in line with the provisions of Order 46 Rule 5 of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rule 2009. I so hold.
“This applicant did not do so. I do not have the jurisdiction to even grant an adjournment for this suit.”
On Friday August 19, after holding a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari for the second time since the allegation of budget padding were levelled against him, Hon. Dogara led a group of senior politician from Bauchi to the All Progressives Congress, APC, National Secretariat in Abuja alleging wrong doing against the state Governor Mohammed Abubakar.
The Speaker who once told State House media that padding was not a crime refused to brief the media on the discussion that took place with the President this time around.
Instead he directed them to a “distinguished” Senator from Bauchi Suleiman Nazif who he made the visit with.
“This is a distinguished senator from Bauchi and he is not a member of the House” he said.
“So, if I come to see the President with him, you should know it is not a house matter.”