Femi Gbajabiamila, the member representing Surulere federal constituency of Lagos state at the House of Representatives has described Jibrin Abdulmumins suspension of as unconstitutional.
Jibrin had accused Speaker Yakubu Dogara and other members of the House of padding the 2016 budget.
Jibrin bagged a one year suspension on Wednesday, September 28, 2016, after he failed to appear before the House committee on ethics over an alleged breach of members' privileges.
But Gbajabiamila, the House leader in an interview with This Day said Jibrin's suspension would lead to ineffective representation for Kano state.
"If you suspend a member for a year, you are effectively suspending his constituency and the people he represents, from participation in participatory democracy," the lawmaker said
"This, in my own personal opinion, violates the constitution which delineates the country into federal constituencies for effective representation, at the centre. For every constituency, it is a right to be represented in the national assembly, not a privilege that can be taken away.
"The constitution says clearly that, all federal constituencies must be represented for 4 years, and lists, I believe, only 1 or 2 circumstances under which such a constituency can be unrepresented. e.g. by a process of recall etc. Even at that, the vacancy is to be filled immediately.
"Our constitution does not envisage a situation where a federal constituency is unrepresented or underrepresented. If, for instance, an issue comes up in a member’s constituency, that requires federal attention or legislative address, who do they go to? We cannot take away a mandate, given by the people or short change a constituency.
"In law, the seat of a representative is held in trust for the constituency. It is an in rem matter, not a personal matter. This is why when a member gets up to speak, he goes through the formality of announcing his name and the constituency he represents.
"In fact, in other democracies and Legislatures, when a Speaker wants to recognise a Representative to speak, he addresses him or her not even by name, but as for instance, 'the gentleman from so so constituency'. That is the pre-eminence given to a constituency in a democratic setting. So it is not about Honourable Jibrin, it is about Beweji constituency.
"I do not stand in the gap for Jibrin, or is this in any way a defence on his behalf. You may not know this, but Jibrin and I stopped relating as friends and colleagues, since March or thereabout.
"However, I am not one to shy away from the truth and the rule of law. I believe that there are other ways that would be constitutional if the House wants to discipline any member", Gbajabiamila added.
Meanwhile, Jibrin has vowed to continue his anti-corruption crusade against the House leadership until justice is served.