Former chairman of House Appropriation Committee, Abdulmumin Jibrin, on Monday described accusations that he owned and operated a bank account in the United Kingdom while serving as a federal lawmaker as the “latest assault” on his person.
In a response on his Twitter page Monday morning, Mr. Jibrin said the allegations had no merit.
“The document is fake. I do not own such account or balance; neither do I have anything whatsoever to do with the said address at Essex,” he said.
A group, Anti-Corruption Unit, had distributed what it said was the printout of Mr. Jibrin’s account balance in the UK, showing that the lawmaker had about £1.5 million stashed in an ING Group branch in the Channel Islands.
“Jibrin’s ownership of foreign account contravenes the provisions of the 1999 Constitution which bar public officer from owning and operating foreign account,” the ACU said in an accompanying statement signed by its director, Ifeanyi Okonkwo.
“Jibrin opened the account with his address at 453 Crankbrook Road, Ilford Essex IG2 6EW,” Mr. Okonkwo said.
A reverse search done on the address showed that it was used by a company in which a person with the name, Abdulmumin Jibrin, born in September 1976, was a director until 2012.
Mr. Jibrin, the lawmaker, was born on September 9, 1976.
Mr. Jibrin declined comments to PREMIUM TIMES about the document Sunday night, but moved aggressively this morning to deny the reports.
Mr. Jibrin also alleged a link between the allegations and Speaker Yakubu Dogara, with whom he had been locked in a fierce political and media battle for months.
“This blackmail is part of a wider propaganda arranged by the desperate Speaker Dogara through his Deputy Chief of Staff Hon. CID Maduabum,” Mr. Jibrin said.
Mr. Dogara’s media adviser, Turaki Hassan, declined comments on Monday.
Mr. Jibrin was compelled to address the scandal after coming under fire on social media Sunday night, sparring with Kayode Ogundamisi at midnight Monday.
Mr. Ogundamisi, a social critic, demanded explanations from Mr. Jibrin about the newly-emerged document linking him with a foreign account.
After initial back and forth, which included screenshots of websites that matched Mr. Jibrin’s address in the UK to the address on the bank account, Mr. Jibrin later said to Mr. Ogundamisi: “Oga, now that you have found that I own the property and the account, what’s next?”
But a few hours later, Mr. Jibrin deleted his earlier exchanges with Mr. Ogundamisi, drawing criticisms from Nigerians who accused him of being evasive.
Mr. Jibrin said he would pursue legal actions over the development.
“I will be reporting these hatchet men to the police and EFCC this morning and my lawyers are taking the necessary legal actions. Enough is enough!” he said.
The allegations came as the lawmakers are returning to Abuja after a two-month-long recess.
Political analysts predict a major brawl could break out if the House moves a motion to suspend Mr. Jibrin.