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22 Jul 2016

Battle-ready Dogara replies ex-appropriation committee chairman

Few hours after Abdulmumin Jibrin, former chairman of the appropriation committee of the House of Representatives, accused Speaker Yakubu Dogara and other principal officers of massive corruption, the speaker has come out with his own version of the story.

Vanguard reports that Dogara wondered why Jibrin kept all his revelations to himself until now. He also denied that Jibrin was removed as committee chairman because he opposed the proposal for immunity to principal officers of the National Assembly.

In a statement by the chairman of the House committee on media and public affairs, Abdulrazak Namdas, Dogara said: “Our attention has been down to media statements made by the former chairman of House appropriation committee, Hon Abdulmumuni Jibrin, wherein he made wild allegations against the House of Representatives and it’s leaders. “We wish to say that it is the prerogative of the selection committee of the House to appoint and remove committee chairmen. “That power has been so exercised in the case of Hon Abdulmumin Jibrin as chairman of appropriation committee.

“Most of the allegations on the 2016 budget process and his opposition to immunity of presiding officers are non-issues and mere after-thought manufactured simply because the House relieved him of his position. “If he had all these ‘facts’ before, why didn’t he make them public? Why is he doing that now? “Hon Abdulmumin Jibrin, like any other member of the House knows that there are conventions and precedents as it relates to budgets and projects for principal officers of the National Assembly.

“Why is he making it an issue now? In any case, he is entitled to his opinion as a Nigerian and as a legislator while acting within the laws of Nigeria and rules of the House. “We must make it abundantly clear that he was not removed because of his support or otherwise on immunity bill. Afterall he is not the only one who opposed the bill. “The bill is still pending before committee on review of constitution and it has to be voted upon by each and every member of the House, get Senate concurrence, endorsed by two-third of the 36 state Houses of Assembly and be assented to by the president. “It is a cheap blackmail on the part of Hon Jibrin to even insinuate that he was removed because he opposed immunity bill.

“He should not distract the House from giving legislative support on important issues facing the government concerning the revival of the economy, insecurity in the country, pursuit of anti-corruption measures, poverty alleviation, infrastructural development etc. “The Nigerian people are simply not ready to waste their time on personal issues and personal egos of our leaders. We should face the urgent tasks before us for which we were elected.”
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