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12 Oct 2016

Budget padding allegation: Jibrin escaped 12 months jail term

Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Ethics and Privileges, Ossai Ossai has claimed that suspended lawmaker, Abdulmumin Jibrin, could have been jailed for one year but the House chose not to.

The former House Committee Chairman on Appropriations was recently suspended for 180 legislative days after failing to appear before the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges  in regard to his budget padding allegations  against the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara and other principal officers.
But addressing reporters on Tuesday, Ossai explained that the lower legislative chambers opted to “only deal with the substantive matter.”
Noting that Jibrin’s suspension was done in accordance with House rules, Ossai said,“When you are looking at powers and privileges act, it prescribed that you will be prosecuted; it prescribes 12 months in jail on talking on issues the house has not given you the authority to talk on.
“We didn’t go to that extent because we needed to deal with the substantive matter and to that extent, what we have recommended is in line with our rules, completely in line. What predicated from the national assembly having rules?
“Section 62 sub section 1 to 3 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria clearly stated that the house has the authority to constitute itself into committees and these committees are also empowered to the house to form a committee that regulates itself.
“It is on that premise that the house committee on ethics and privileges was also put in place and this committee was put in place when Jibrin had not come up with this thing.
“To buttress it, Jibrin is part and parcel of that committee; he never knew he would have an issue so I believe that the house has acted based on the constitutional mandate.
“First of all we rely on our rules, we rely on the code of conduct of members which was passed, we also relied on the constitution and the power and privileges act so you could see everything was tied up looking at this issue and if he resumes after 180 legislative sitting days.
“The house will look at his matter if he is ready to present it.”

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