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23 Sep 2016

Budget Padding: Falana demands suspension of Ethics Committee hearing

Human rights activist, Femi Falana, SAN, has demanded the immediate suspension of the activities of the House of Representatives Committee on Ethics and Privileges which has started hearing into allegations against Abdulmumin Jibrin.

The committee, which was mandated by the House to investigate allegations of misconduct and breach of privileges against the former Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, began sitting in Abuja, on Friday.

In a letter dated September 23, which the legal firm Falana and Falana Chambers addressed to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Falana noted that the decision of the House to cause the committee to investigate Jibrin, who he described as his client, is in contravention of relevant sections of the standing orders of the House.

The letter partly read, “As you are no doubt aware, the decision of the House to cause the committee to investigate our client by the Committee on Ethics and Privileges contravenes order 9 rule 5 of the Standing Order of the House of Representatives.”

The rule provides that “Reference shall not be made to any matter on which a judicial decision is pending, in such a way as might, in the Speaker’s opinion, prejudice the interest of parties thereto.”

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