FLASH | Hon. Jibrin risks 12 months in jail & suspension

The hunter may soon become the hunted in this budget padding saga. The former Chairman House of Reps Committee on Appropriations, Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin, risks 12 months in jail, suspension or a fine of N200 if convicted of allegations of misconduct.

Jibrin is currently being investigated by the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges for acts of misconduct following several public utterances considered to be targeted at bringing the leadership and members of the House to public ridicule.

The Ethics Committee began hearing into the matter on Friday with a testimony from the sponsor of the motion that led to the hearing, Emmanuel Orker-Jev.

Orker-Jev, in his testimony said Jibrin’s utterances maligned and defamed the House, and incited members of the Nigerian public against the members.

He also said he was constrained to sponsor the motion after several of his colleagues approached him with evidence that Jibrin’s allegations not “only offended them, but also infringed on the integrity of the House as an institution.”

The lawmaker, had in his motion accused Jibrin of several breaches of the privileges of the House of Reps, members of the House and provisions of the National Assembly Legislative Houses Act.

Orker-Jev tendered evidence of reported statements, where Jibrin accused the House of corruption.

He cited some of Jibrin’s utterances as captured on the pages of newspapers to include: “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 explained that based on provisions of section 24 of the Legislative Powers Act, if found guilty, Jibrin is liable on conviction to “12 months in imprisonment or a fine of N200.”

This, he explained, is if the matter is handled by the Office of the Attorney-General but in the case of the House of Representatives, he could be suspended for six months.

However, Jibrin earlier gave conditions under which he would appear before the committee.

According to him, he would only appear before the committee if civil society organisations, labour unions, student groups and members of the public are allowed to observe proceedings.

Jibrin had in a letter dated September 23, 2016, addressed to the committee Chairman, said he was surprised that instead of the committee addressing the allegations against the Speaker and those accused of corrupt practices, he was being put on trial.