‎House of Reps suspends Jibrin

Abdulmumin-Jibrin (1)

The House of Representatives on Wednesday suspended Abdulmumin Jibrin, a lawmaker from Kano at the centre of the unfolding budget padding scandal, for 180 legislative days.

The House seats three days in a week and this consequently means that Mr. Jibrin’s suspension would last more than a year.

In a motion recommended by House Ethics Committee chairman, Nicholas Ossai, and adopted by the whole House, Mr. Jibrin will also not be able to hold any position of responsibility for the span of the current National Assembly.

Mr. Jibrin began stirring what experts now described as one Africa’s biggest parliamentary scandals in recent memory on July 21, a day after he was eased out as chairman of the powerful committee.

Although the House was taking a two-month recess at the time, Mr. Jibrin remained resolute in his quest to “end the massive corruption in the House.”

“My resolve to champion this cause was borne out of patriotism and desire to complement the present administration’s anti-corruption war from the legislative front,” Mr. Jibrin said in an email to PREMIUM TIMES on August 21.

Mr. Jibrin said the campaign had earned him “blackmail, propaganda and campaign of calumny” from Mr. Dogara, lawmakers loyal to him and their proxies.

The assault had been largely targeted at the Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara, and three other principal officers, whose resignation and prosecution he had continued to demand.

Mr. Dogara had announced the removal of Mr. Jibrin in a speech he read in plenary on July 20, alleging budget fraud and serial betrayal of trust.

To back his allegations against Mr. Dogara, Mr. Jibrin released damning documents to the media.

On July 30, the State Security Service sealed the secretariat of the Appropriation Committee in the National Assembly after Mr. Jibrin raised the alarm that Mr. Dogara had allegedly concluded plans to cart away computers and destroy evidence.

Mr. Jibrin also visited law enforcement agencies, including the EFCC, the SSS and the police, where he said he personally submitted petitions detailing evidence of fraudulent manipulation of budget by Mr. Dogara, his deputy Yusuf Lasun, House Whip, Alhassan Doguwa, Minority Leader, Leo Ogor, and nine others.

After several days of silence, Mr. Dogara succumbed to public demands for him to defend himself and came out with blistering statements denying all the charges against him.

Mr. Dogara took specific issue with the ‘budget padding’ catchphrase, saying it was a strange term to use when describing the actions of the legislature.

He also said lawmakers could not be probed by law enforcement agencies over any infractions in the National Assembly, but later walked back this statement.

At some point, the APC moved to contain the crisis, but its gag order lasted only a weekend.

Consequently, lawmakers began openly criticising Mr. Jibrin for allegedly defacing the National Assembly, dealing a major blow to his crusade.

Mr. Jibrin’s isolation became even more pronounced after 10 principal officers of the House released a statement backing Mr. Dogara and denouncing Mr. Jibrin. Amongst them was Femi Gbajabiamila, the Majority Leader who many thought would be reluctant to openly back Mr. Dogara.

The development sparked speculation that Mr. Jibrin would be suspended upon resumption of the House from recess.

The House resumed on September 20 and a lawmaker loyal to Mr. Dogara moved a motion the next day to have Mr. Jibrin probed for allegedly breaching the privileges of the members.

Emmanuel Orker-Jev, a lawmaker from Benue, proposed tough sanctions against Mr. Jibrin for the damage his allegations have allegedly wrought on the House.

“The image of the House has never been worse than this before. Hon. Jibrin was reckless and the allegations were false. He knew that the allegations were false and scandalous and he had no regards at all to whether the allegations were true or false,” Mr. Orker-Jev said.

The House subsequently assigned the matter to its Ethics and Privileges Committee for further investigation and to report back within a week with its findings and recommendations.

Mr. Ossai, chairman of the committee, convened the first hearing on the matter September 23, during which Mr. Orker-Jev submitted his allegations against Mr. Jibrin.

Mr. Jibrin received an invitation to appear before the committee on Monday. But decided to boycott the hearing, even though his demand that the sitting be thrown open to the public was met by Mr. Ossai. Mr. Jibrin also asked his lawyer, Femi Falana, to seek discontinuation of committee’s actvities in court.

Mr. Ossai said Mr. Jibrin’s failure to appear before his “properly and constitutionally constituted committee” was, in effect, a defence.

Mr. Jibrin had on Tuesday alleged subjudice saying the committee should not have sat since the matter was in court.

Mr. Jibrin’s suspension would see him banned from the premises of the National Assembly in the course of the disciplinary action. He would also not receive salaries or allowances.

Some sympathisers of Mr. Jibrin saw his suspension as partisan, draconian and counterproductive.

“This show of partisanship and support for Mr. Dogara is condemnable and too severe,” said a political analyst, Gbola Oba.

Mr. Oba said Mr. Jibrin had suffered the same fate as Dino Melaye who was suspended in 2010 for breach of members’ privilege. Mr. Melaye is now a senator representing Kogi West.

“We knew they would gang up against him as they did against Mr. Melaye,” Mr. Oba said. “This clearly shows that the House has failed to move beyond its counterproductive ways of suspending anyone who challenges the status quo.

“If the House were a serious body, serious attention would be given to Mr. Jibrin’s claim so as to foster a thriving democratic experiment within the country.”

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  • Capt

    Pity you Jibrin. I always questioned your honesty given that you only started raising alarm after you fell out with the powers that be. However, your victimization is becoming too much over something that we know is true. I hope Mr intervene. You can’t be exiled for a year for saying something that is true. outrageous

  • Nkem

    In other countries, the citizens would mobilise in their numbers to go and shut down the National Assembly, not because the whistle-blower is a saint, but to encourage other whistle-blowers to come out in future. But definitely not Nigeria. The worst we can do is to rant behind computer screen. Sometimes, when Nigerians complain about corruption, it is simply because it is not their opportunity to steal.

    • john omoloye

      mr nkem i trust them,Nigerian can not protest on empty stomach not even this time of recession

  • john omoloye

    the mistake this jubrin guy has made he should have raise the issue of budget fraud before his removal as chairman appropriate committee

    anyhow enjoy your suspension



    • musa aliyu


  • FreeNigeria

    I pity my country NIGERIA.

  • Cleartruth

    Nigerians shouldn’t sympathise with jibrin. He suddenly turned to a whistle blower because he was removed as chairman. Why did he not start it when he was enjoying the loot? Bunkum.



    Hon. Jubrin should take heart … we are in a country were doing the right is a crime!

    Many Nigerians would still remember Alozie Ogugbuaja, a former superintendent of Police of the pepper soup
    theory fame. In the mid 1980s, Alozie Ogugbuaja, then a Police Public Relations Officer in Nigeria, upset his superiors when he publicly stated that coup plotting was often the outcome of boredom in the barracks. Ogugbuaja argued that idle soldiers who spend much of their time eating pepper-soup and drinking alcohol were responsible for plotting coups.

    However, in that famed testimony before the Justice Mustapha Akanbi Tribunal probing students riots in Nigeria, in
    1986, Alozie Ogugbuaja had, in a two-hour submission, drawn attention to the plight of the junior police officers in the Force and more. He pointed out that the Nigerian Police

    officers were a neglected lot. And perhaps the Federal Military Government was deliberately starving the Nigerian Police of funds because it is not in the military’s interest to have a well funded developed police Force. The nation ignored.

    Again in 1987, he did a memo calling on the police authority to establish a Nigeria Police Union. Again, it remained ignored. There was a time it was a taboo to even mention police problems. This was during the military empire. The
    police leadership called him a liar. They claimed that Nigerian police officers were one of the highest paid and happiest humans in the world. He was vilified and crucified. Suspended from the Police Force and eventually sacked. Today, under this democratic dispensation, these same officers are still complaining.

    • Mufu Ola

      Where is that gentleman now? He should have joined politics.I loved that pepper soup theory in those days.

  • Akiika

    I am stunned by the thought process of Nigerians. So, Jibrin’s expose will be buried like that! What else do lazy Nigerians need to revolt against these legislooters that have mortgaged their future. I am more convinced that Nigeria will perpetually remain in her sorry state and ordinary folks will continue to suffer.

    • sab

      Get things well bros. I’m not a politician, neither am I a party man. I’m neither here nor there but a careful study of this issue shows that the padding was done as regards the N100billion earmarked for the Reps in the original budget. That’s why the Presidency appears not interested because it is the Reps money attached to the so-called Constituency Projects.

  • Okokondem

    One a day like this, I am ashamed to call myself a Nigerian. They can sell all the assets in this world, borrow all the money in the world, I guarantee you it would not solve Nigeria’s problems, because our problems lie deep within us.

    Nigerians must change their mindset in order to progress. Just think about how shameless our country and our people are. We comfortably fly Ghana, Ethiopia, South Africa, even Gambian airways. A country this size, this prominent, and with this much natural resources could not maintain a national airline.

    Just imagine, a country that produces this much oil, with this much population, cannot maintain a fully functional oil refinery.

    Tell me how anyone in his right mind would sacrifice himself as a whistle-blower after watching Jibrin get thrown under the bus.

    I think I will take a break from reading these news from Nigeria because it is too depressing.


    This is simply the reason why I do not support or participate in any kind of protests. Those days when Jibrin was talking, I was shaking my head in pity. I knew it would come to this. What did he expect will happen? He will expose the budget shenanigans and Nigerians will protest? That kind of response he wanted to precipitate did not happen. He was preaching to the wrong crowd. The National Assembly is home to all sorts of crooks and he is supposed to know that. He should have been more prepared. This is why when I confront anyone with a stick ranting against me, I come with a bigger stick. If he has a gun, I hold a bigger gun. I hope IPOB members are watching. This is the Nigeria we live in. That closes the curtain on the budget padding controversy.

  • Imea

    Jibrin, or anybody else for that matter did not need a prophet to predict it would all end up like this. He was not trying to indict a PDP member or anybody remotely connected with Jonathan but someone one in the inner circle of this administration. No amount of evidence was ever going to make any difference. And somebody will have the effrontery to claim this admnistration is fighting corruption.
    The dark forces are alive and well and sitting tight on Nigeria. Nevertheless Jibrin did well to even try.

  • Du Covenant

    Senseless retaliation, it is uncalled for.