The House of Representatives may soon recall its suspended former Appropriation Committee Chairman, Abdulmumini Jibrin, following a reconciliation meeting initiated by the Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, between Mr. Jibrin and leaders of the lower chamber.
Mr. Jibrin, who represents Kiru/Bebeji federal constituency of Kano State, was suspended from the legislature for 181 days last September following his allegation of budget padding against the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, and three other principal officers.
The principal officers are the Deputy Speaker, Yusuf Lasun, the Minority Leader, Leo Ogor, and the Chief Whip, Alhassan Doguwa, who is also from Kano State.
He had alleged that the principal officers attempted to pad the 2016 budget with about N40 billion.
“The members of the body of principal offices were not comfortable with my independent disposition and my refusal to cover up their unilateral decision to allocate to themselves N40 billion out of N100 billion allocated to the entire National Assembly,” said Mr. Jibrin who also demanded for their resignation.
The Committee on Ethics and Privileges, which investigated the matter, recommended his suspension.
Sources in Kano State Government House told PREMIUM TIMES that Mr. Ganduje on Monday convened a reconciliation meeting between Messrs. Jibrin and Doguwa.
It was gathered that during the meeting, which was also attended by the Deputy Governor, Hafeez Abubakar, and the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state, Abdullahi Abass, the governor pleaded with the two lawmakers to bury their hatchet and forgive one another.
“Governor Ganduje has already met with the warring factions and they agreed to sheathe their sword,” the source said.
This newspaper further learnt that Mr. Ganduje reached out to Mr. Dogara before and after the meeting, pleading with him to forgive the suspended lawmaker.
Mr. Doguwa could not be reached for comments.
When PREMIUM TIMES went to his office at the National Assembly complex, he was said to be busy and could not immediately attend to visitors.
Salisu Yakasai, Director General, Media and Communications Strategy in the Office of the Kano State Governor, confirmed the moves to reconcile Messrs. Jibrin and his colleagues at the lower legislative chamber.
Although he did not provide details of the efforts being made, Mr. Yakasai hailed the development.
“I believe it is a welcome development and it is for the betterment of the nation simply because having them working together at the lower chamber would add value to the House,” he said in an SMS to PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday.
Stating that both Messrs. Doguwa and Jibrin were valuable to the legislature, state and the nation, Mr. Yakasai however said, “I urge them to put their differences aside and work for the people that elected them.
Mr. Jibrin had in June last year alleged that Mr. Dogara and the three principal officers.
He was removed as the appropriation committee chairman though he said he voluntarily resigned from the position.
The ethics and privileges committee chaired by Nicholas Ossai was subsequently mandated to probe the allegation but the former appropriation committee chair shunned its one weeks sitting, even though his demand for public sitting was met.
Regardless, the committee submitted its report to the House in plenary during which it recommended Mr. Jibrin’s suspension for 181 legislative days. The House adopted the report of the committee.
Mr. Jibrin however challenged his suspension in court where the matter is still pending.