Men's Roundtable The stubborn Grasshopper in the House

Nigerians are worried that the House of Representatives might sweep the budget padding allegations raised by Hon. Jibrin under the carpet by suspending him.

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The Men's Roundtable

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The phenomenon called Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin, a member of the House of Representatives and former Chairman of the Appropriations Committee in the House will not go away for a very long time, despite efforts to clip his wings.

Also Read: "Men's Roundtable: 'You be thief... I no be rogue'"

Jibrin who is now fondly referred to as the Whistle Blower after he made damning accusations that the Speaker of the House, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Yusuf Lasun, House Whip, Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa, and House Minority Leader, Hon. Leo Ogor, and other principal officers of padding the nation's budget and conniving to 'corner' and share among themselves, a whopping N40 billion out of the N100 billion allocated to the entire National Assembly in the 2016 budget.

Since the allegations came out, many forces within the House and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), have tried to subdue the member representing Kiru/Bebeji Federal Constituency of Kano State but he has become a stubborn Grasshopper who has refused to be eaten by the hens in the House.

Many would not know that Jibrin is a 'barrack boy' and was born in the military barracks where his father was serving Lieutenant in the Nigerian Army. Do you now see why he has become fly in the ointment in the House?

The powers that be have tried in so many ways to shut him down, including a gag order (that one lasted just a weekend), denial of privileges and several moves to put him in check but the gadfly has refused to be cowed.

Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin play

Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin

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Now the House has played its trump card by placing a blanket suspension on Jibrin which will last for 180 legislative days in a House that seats three days in a week, meaning that Jibrin’s suspension would last more than a year. And that also means that he will not be part of sitting allowances.

He is also to apologize openly to the members of the House (something we all know will never come from Jibrin).

The suspension also comes with the recommendation that Jibrin will not be able to hold any position of responsibility for the span of the current National Assembly.

The reason for Jibrin's suspension apart from the whistle-blowing is also hinged on his refusal to honour the invitation of the Ethics and Privileges Committee set up by the House.

That, in itself, was a flaw on Jibrin's part as he should have accorded the Committee the privilege of hearing him out since he has always claimed to have enough evidence to nail Dogara and co.

So why did he refuse to appear before the Ethics Committee is what is being frowned upon but for those on the outside, it would seem the Speaker of the House acted as the judge in a case he is an accused.

What baffles Nigerians is the fact that Dogara and others fingered by Jibrin have not deemed it fit to allow themselves to be investigated by stepping aside for a while. An uninformed Nigerian will see this as a way of sweeping the case under the carpet as always.

Another worrisome fact is the deafening silence on the part of the Federal Government in line with President Muhammadu Buhari's vow not to intervene in the affairs of the National Assembly.

Also Read: "Men's Roundtable: House of Commotion"

But the signals are not very clear here; what does Jibrin hope to gain in this particular fight? Does he ever hope to win with the apparent gang up against him by other members of the House? Why hasn't the House allow an independent body to investigate the allegations?

Does this not show that the has failed to move beyond its normal ways of suspending anyone who challenges the status quo, as was the case with the now Senator Dino Melaye?

Why can't the House give Jibrin's allegations a more serious attention instead of sweeping them under the never ending carpet? Is this the last we are going to hear of this case?

Only time will tell.

Do you think the House of Representatives is justified in suspending Hon. Jibrin?»

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