ABUJA—THE recently sacked Chairman of Appropriations Committee in the House of Representatives, Abdulmumuni Jibrin, has said that his refusal to support immunity for presiding officers as well refusal to approve the N40 billion for principal officers out of N100 billion approved for members of the House for constituency projects led to his removal.
Dogara and Jibrin In a statement yesterday after the House had adjourned for its annual vacation, Jibrin told the Speaker, Dogara, his deputy, Yussuff Lasun, the Minority Leader, Leo Ogor and the Chief Whip, AlHassan Doguwa to resign for their alleged role in the budget padding.
His assertions were immediately dismissed by the House which through Spokesman, Rep. Abdulrazak Namdas accused him of resorting to cheap blackmail, asking why he did not as a man of principle, make his disclosure before his removal.
Namdas said that Jibrin was removed by the body of principal officers in exercise of the powers conferred on it by the House rules. Jibrin was at the centre of allegations by House members during the 2016 budget exercise when it was alleged that the N60 billion earmarked for the Calabar – Lagos rail project was diverted to other projects leading to calls for his sack.
Following his removal on Wednesday, Jibrin yesterday said he was removed because he withdrew support from the proposal to grant immunity to presiding officers of the National Assembly and his refusal to channel N40 billion of the N100 billion meant for constituency funds for members to the House leadership. “I am a very blunt person by nature.
I don’t know how to pretend. I don’t do eye service neither will I ever be a sycophant. I don’t give returns. I just do my job dedicatedly. My offence was asserting my independence and insisting we do the right thing at all times and expose corrupt people in the house.
“Lately, I openly disagreed with some principal officers on the issue of immunity and budget issues. I still maintain I will never support immunity.” But in his response, Namdas said: “Most of the allegations on the 2016 budget process and his opposition to immunity of presiding officers are non issues and mere after thought manufactured simply because the House relieved him of his position.
“If he had all these ‘facts’ before, why didnt 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 ol Nigeria and 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.”