Impeachment threat: Jibrin to face committee

Abdulmumin Jibrin (APC, Kano) and Mohammed Gudaji (APC, Jigawa) are to face the Ethics and Privileges committe

e of the House of Representatives for their views on the impeachment threat issued against President Muhammadu Buhari.

Jibrin has just returned from a 180 legislative days suspension on account of bringing the House to disrepute with his comments on the 2017 budget.

His suspension was nullified by a court.

This followed the adoption of a motion on breach of privilege by Sunday Karimi (PDP, Kogi) and Nicholas Ossai (PDP, Delta).

Karimi, who first raised a point of order on the breach of his privilege by Jibrin, said the account given to the media was incorrect.

Karimi said Jibrin’s statement to the press was contradictory of what actually transpired during the closed door session while he left out certain information about the joint sitting.

Karimi said his privilege was particularly breached by Jibrin’s remark that the joint sitting was an all Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) affair.

“There is a need for Abdulmumin to be called to order because trying to subvert the truth is not good for this institution,” he said.

Ossai pleaded for the leave of the House that he stepped down as Chairman of the Ethics and Privileges Committee because his name was mentioned in a national daily by Gudaji as being part of the lawmakers responsible for the collection of signatures for the impeachment of President Buhari.

Ossai quoted Gudaji as saying in the news report that he (Ossai) was mentioned as being a leading figure in the collection of signatures for the impeachment of the President.

“If I’m a leading voice in the chamber I’ll be happy but I’m not, so, I want this issue to be investigated because my constituents will ask questions,” he said.

Chinda also asked that Gudaji be investigated because he was equally mentioned as being part of the arrowheads of the impeachment list.

Speaker Yakubu Dogara in his ruling expressed concern about his colleagues that could not understand the workings of the House, who rushes to the media immediately resolutions are reached.

“I have problem with people, who don’t know what they are doing here and next thing is they go to press.

“What happened yesterday was opened to all and we should always make statement that reflects the truth.

“It’s unfortunate but since the issue has been raised, we have to refer it to Ethics and Privileges Committee.

“As for Abdulmumin, we have to investigate it too,” he said.

The two were referred to the Ethics and Privileges committee. Ossai’s prayer to step down as Chairman of the Committee being a party in the matter was granted.

Similarly the House is planning to punish the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Amina Shamaki, with the stiffest penalty for obstructing its proceedings at a public hearing.

This followed the submision of Beni Lar (PDP, Plateau) who alleged that Shamaki to have ordered Directors General (DGs) under her ministry to walk out of a public hearing on the amendment to the establishment bill of some agencies in the ministry.

Lar, in her point of order, said the PS on May 31 during a public hearing on eight bills asked all the DGs of agencies in her ministry in attendance to walk out of the hearing.

According to the lawmaker, Shamaki, who was seen stepping out of the hearing hall on intermittently,instructed the DGs to refrain from attending to the Committee’s inquiries, else they will be queried.

The lawmaker said Shamaki’s action was a slight on the Legislature and a bad precedence. “I was approached about it and I reacted that anyone that left will be charged with contempt of Legislature,” Lar added.

Uzoma Nkem-Abonta (PDP, Abia) said the action of the PS was grievous than the Senate’s stolen mace.

“This is sacrilegious; we should make a statement; otherwise, we’ll be barking without biting. Stiffest penalty should go to whoever is found culpable,” he said.

To Chief Whip Hassan Doguwa, who said he witnessed the event, the matter should not be handled with levity.

“For a permanent secretary to embarrass this institution like that means we are not safe because anyone can as well do the same.

“This is unacceptable and we should not take it lightly.

The House owes the public a duty to protect them,” he noted.

The Speaker referred the matter to the Justice Committee, saying it was still an allegation.

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