THE House of Representatives yesterday moved to subject suspended former Chairman, Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin (APC, Kano), to another round of investigation following two petitions written against him.
Chairman, Committee on Ethics and Privileges Nicholas Ossai (PDP, Delta) had in a motion sought the approval of the House to invite Jibrin for response to the petitions against him.
Ossai said there was a need for Jibrin to be allowed into the precincts of the National Assembly for hearing on the two petitions.
One of the petitions signed by 10 people from Bebeji and Kiru Local Government Areas (LGA) of Kano State, where Jibrin represents, complained about poor representation by the suspended lawmaker.
Among other complaints, the petitioners alleged that Jibrin has not returned to the constituency regularly to deliver dividends of democracy since he took office over five years ago.
The other petition was from the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) on the operation of foreign accounts by Jibrin in contravention of the laws.
The anti-corruption unit of the group alleged that Jibrin was being investigated by the International Police (Interpol) through information provided by the United Kingdom Financial Intelligence Unit (UKFIU) and the National Crime Agency.
Ossai said Jibrin should not be denied the opportunity of defending himself as a result of being suspended.
As a result, he urged the House to allow Jibrin access the National Assembly for the purpose of attending the sittings of the Ethics Committee.
But a member, Aliyu Madaki (APC, Kano) in a point of order said to entertain the motion and the petitions was against the rules of the House since matters under litigation were not supposed to be debated by the House.
He said: “This is an overkill; you have suspended Jibrin for a year, Jibrin is not my friend, but our rule is clear on matters like this. Allow the court to take its course; that’s what our rules say. What else do you want from him?” he asked.
Minority Leader Leo Ogor supported Ossai, saying the concept of fair hearing would have been defeated if Jibrin was not allowed to defend himself against the allegations.
“It is unfair to judge somebody behind him,” he said.
The Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, however, intervened that the House was not aware of any court case involving operation of foreign account or poor representation by Jibrin and as such, the motion was in order. (The Nation)