Budget Padding Scandal: Jibrin talks tough, vows to upturn suspension in court

Dogara Jibrin

Following his suspension by the House of Representatives, Abdulmumin Jibrin, on Wednesday night said he would seek redress in court.

The House on Wednesday afternoon slammed 180 legislative days —a full session— suspension on Mr. Jibrin after being found guilty of violating ethics and privileges of lawmakers.

Mr. Jibrin through his widely publicised allegations of budget fraud against the Speaker of the House and over a dozen other lawmakers had stirred controversies and subjected the House to public scrutiny since July.

But the lawmaker remained defiant, saying he had done nothing wrong and, as such, will not apologise.

“Let me say, I will never ever apologise to anybody in the House of Representatives,” Mr. Jibrin said in a statement. “I did not commit any offence.”

Mr. Jibrin’s allegations against Speaker Yakubu Dogara and others stemmed from his ouster as the chair of the much-coveted Committee on Appropriation.

Mr. Dogara announced Mr. Jibrin’s removal shortly before the House proceeded on an eight-week-long recess July 20, citing budget fraud and serial betrayal of trust.

On September 21, barely a day after resuming, Mr. Dogara’s loyalists moved a motion at the plenary seeking disciplinary actions against Mr. Jibrin.

Emmanuel Orker-Jev, a lawmaker from Benue, proposed tough sanctions against Mr. Jibrin for the damage his allegations had 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.

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

Mr. Jibrin received an invitation to appear before the committee on Monday. But he decided toboycott 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 the committee’s activities saying continuing  would amount to subjudice as the matter was in court.

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

The report of the committee was laid before the House plenary at noon on Wednesday.

By 2:30 p.m., the House voted to adopt the recommendations of the committee as read out by Mr. Ossai on the floor.

The recommendations included a 180-day suspension, a formal letter of apology and a removal of rights to hold position of responsibility through the span of the current 8th National Assembly.

Although analysts said it was draconian and counterproductive, Mr. Jibrin’s, nonetheless, saw a bright spot in his suspension.

“At this point, I must say they freed me up to concentrate on the matter in court,” Mr. Jibrin said. “I know the suspension is not going to stand, secondly, I’m going into a massive alliance with civil society groups, NGOs and well meaning Nigerian to continue to press ahead.”

Analysts also said Mr. Jibrin’s suspension did not resolve the questions of what the House would do about the allegations of budget fraud confronting it.

House spokesman, Abdulrazak Namdas, did not respond to PREMIUM TIMES’ request for comment about this Wednesday night.

A top lawmaker in the House said the lawmakers will not consider Mr. Jibrin’s allegations since he didn’t present anything before them.

“I understand people want his allegations investigated,” the source told PREMIUM TIMES Wednesday night. “But don’t forget he didn’t present them before us.”

“He had an opportunity to do this last week when someone raised a motion for his suspension, but instead walked out in a show of arrogance.”

Mr. Jibrin is the first lawmaker to be suspended since 2010 when Dino Melaye and 10 others were found guilty of breaching House ethics and privileges.

West Idahosa, Austin Nwachukwu, Gbenga Onigbogi, Doris Uboh, Gbenga Oduaye, Independence Ogunewe, Solomon Achinawhi, Kayode Amusa, Anas Abass, and Bitmus Kaze received indefinite suspension alongside Mr. Melaye on June 22, 2010 under the speakership of Dimeji Bankole.

Mr. Melaye is now a senator representing Kogi West.

In the 4th National Assembly, 1999 -2003, two senators, Arthur Nzeribe and Joseph Waku, were suspended for ethical misconduct.

Mr. Jibrin’s suspension would see him barred from the premises of the National Assembly in the course of the disciplinary action. His office will be sealed and will not receive salaries or allowances.


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  • otunga

    The “anti-corruption war” of the buhari administration…claims its first “victim”! wtf???

  • Karl Imom

    Orker Jev is not just a thief, he is one of those criminals who looted Benue State dry, then proceeded to loot Federal Treasury. How many legislative days does the House of Assembly seat in a year in Nigeria? By refusing to address allegations of corruption against the Speaker, and then turning around to suspend the member who made the allegations, the House of Representatives has NOT only confirmed allegations leveled against the Speaker, but also displayed the criminal nature of its leadership. These are thieves parading as lawmakers. I repeat, these people are thieves! I would rather have Nigeria under Military Rule than the Rule of Thieves!!

    • sab

      I’m not a politician and don’t ever want to be one. Corruption is corruption and bad in whatever way you look at it. But it is unfortunate that many people who stand by Jibrin in this case do so sentiment, party affiliation, ethnic or religious sentiment, either way. Let’s look at this objectively without bias. Jibrin was chairman of the Appropriation Committee of the House. He superintended over the budget issue and never raised any alarm. He approved the budget before it was transmitted to the President for ascent. All through this period he never raised any voice, neither did he blow any whistle. He had all the documents with him but never exposed anything or anybody. Which means they were in it together. Sadly, after convincing the President to sign the document on the ground they have done a good job, Jibrin later volte-faced, claiming the budget was padded. In effect, he’s telling the world that in spite of all the bickering that trailed the budget between PMB and the Senate, Jibrin want to tell Nigerians and indeed the world that PMB signed a ‘fake’ budget. Don’t forget the military rule that knowledge of coup plot without reporting to relevant authorities is akin to full participation in the coup. He only raised voice after he was relieved of his juicy position and this, to me, makes his whistle blowing irrelevant. Maybe that’s why the Presidency and perhaps the EFCC are reluctant to act. And again, the padding allegation was done on the N100 billion naire allocated to the House in the budget for constituency projects. Legal or not, this was captured in the original budget drawn by the Presidency in which case the House was at liberty to ‘share’ it in any manner they want in accordance to the House Standing Rules.

      • H.P.

        Very correct

  • Fadama

    Blow the whistle and fall under the axe. With the knowledge of this, why would anyone in Nigeria attempt to expose a corrupt official?

  • Commentsfile..!!!

    This representatives want to play a sharp one on Nigerians with this quick
    suspension of Mr jibrin, with the thought that his ability to fight back within
    the chambers has been neutralized by doubling his task to fighting to save his
    position as a member and at the same time continuing with the fight against
    the House leadership. It is a thing of concern to notice that no one is still talking
    about this “Budget Padding” issue except in “Nigeria China Phone Forums”.
    what is going on with the police investigation into this matter, any update pipo?



    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.

  • Comfortkay

    The Bible says the truth shall make you free Jubril Nigerian are behind you.

  • Realitytalk

    The whole people are behind you and PMB will always go against corruption in the house. we shall surely get there ad nigerians will see the light

  • Timothy Shola

    Dogara only postpone his day of disgrace, its all matter of time weather the allegation leveled against him is all about Jibrin or the crime he allegedly committed is of Nigerians, we Nigerians are watching if the much touted corruption FIGHT of APC where Dogara and 90% of his gangs belongs and under the watchful eyes of President Buhari, they forgot they are only 360 units of human beings, but Nigerians are close to 200 million people. Dogara just watch out, clock ticks.

  • Bunduma Mohammed

    Nigeria must stand up against impunity in the NA Dogara cannot be plaintiff and judge in his own case. Nigerians need to mobilize to deal theft and criminality in the National Assembly.