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9 Jun 2018

Jibrin in the midst of another storm

In the House of Representatives, compliance is the rule. With a House Standing Order that states that the Speaker can detect motive at the level of thought ( should you approach the Mace) and then may suspend you indefinitely, members are fearful, docile and very well- behaved.
Recall that11 members went before an Abuja High Court seeking the reversal of the Tuesday October 8, 2015 adoption of the report of an ad hoc committee that reviewed the House Standing Orders, 2011 edition? It’s dictatorial, they said.

But one member continues to stoke the embers of controversy; his name is Abdulmumin Jibrin, the former Chairman House Committee on Finance, and then Appropriation. The lawmaker from Kano representing Bebeji/Kiru Federal Constituency, is made of sterner stuff. Deviance seems to be his name.  After his removal as the Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, he earned himself a 180-day suspension for his “anti- corruption crusade” over the 2016 budget crisis.

He made a series of profound accusations against some members of the leadership of the the House and provided unpalatable financial details concerning members of the House available to the public. Others he chronicled and dispatched to anti- corruption agencies (to no avail, it seems).

The House was sorely embarrassed.  One would have thought, having spent a handsome part of his representation time outside the Green Chamber (over 200 days actually), Jibrin would be more

circumspect and keep a low profile on his return to the House after his innocuous and sudden pardon by the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara. Alas, following a breach of privileges motion by a member, Jibrin is on his way back to the Ethics and Privileges Committee!

What on earth has he done this time? The charge: the lawmaker via a statement through a group, The Parliamentary Support Group, voiced his disagreement on the impeachment resolutions against President Muhammadu Buhari at the joint session held on Tuesday.

“The Parliamentary Support Group PSG, whose primary objective is to support President Muhammadu Buhari, has come to stay in the House of Representatives and the National Assembly at large. “The PSG has become necessary because of the unabated attacks on Mr President on the floor of the House.

An action that has severally embarrassed the President and portrayed the APC-led government in bad light, ” he said in a statement on Thursday. What passion drives this controversial young legislator?

Is he on his way to self- destruct, or going to be a hero of reformation? Of course, there has been quite a lot of sentiments against Jibrin. For instance, many are wondering how come he suddenly became a reformer only after he was removed from the plum position of Chairman House Committee on Appropriations?

Then, how would one quantify the damage done to the reputation of the National Assembly over the budget padding stories that he helped to popularize? The scandals that he assisted in spreading? Such were the types of questions asked. Jibrin, who said he came into politics to make a difference, may have changed the colour and flavour of the game in the House.

For instance, going by his recent judgment from the High Court in Abuja, the House, according to the court, has no right to have suspended him- and any member for that matter.

Congratulations guys (for all ye that are frightful). But the worrisome aspect of this narrative is that in spite of another impending excursion to the Committee on Ethics and Privileges, Jibrin, who has a talent for stepping on different sizes of toes, just yesterday promised to release a smoking 12- page document on the 2018 budget.

The documents will show all the shenanigans, inconsistencies, and other aspects the leadership of the House would rather prefer to be shrouded, he said. Well, why should that worry anyone if the right thing has been done?

But the lawmaker seems to have been lured by the call for history and his desire to leave a legacy. “I’m determined that the constitutional powers of the Legislature will be used for the good of the people of our country.

That is what pushes me to make a difference,” he in a chat with our reporter. He added ” I’ve gotten to a point in life where only a few things can make me afraid. I don’t fear anything, and I always like to follow my convictions.”

Good word, but hopefully the court judgment would save him from another 180 days from the Ethics and Privileges palaver currently staring him in the face. Though some members were initially happy at the anti-corruption stance of Jibrin, others were taciturn on what the end game may turn out to be.

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