House of Representatives yesterday sealed the office of sacked Appropriation Committee Chairman, Abdulmumin Jibrin, who has been suspended from carrying out legislative duties.
The Sergeant at Arms sealed Jibrin’s office to deny him access to his room 1.05 at the House of Representatives wing of the National Assembly Complex.
The Sergeant at Arms took over the office and asked Jibrin’s aidesto take their personal effects and that of their principal and vacate the room immediately.
At a press briefing yesterday, Chairman, Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Abdulrasaq Namdas, said the House was not bothered about Jibrin’s legal threats, even as he said the judiciary cannot dictate how the internal affairs of the legislature should be run.
The House said the constitution was clear on the issues of separation of powers in a democracy and that it could not be guarded by the judiciary.
Namdas further said the House took the decision to suspend Jibrin after duly exhausting its internal discipline mechanisms which he was given the right to fair hearing.
He said the House would wait for whatever action Jibrin would take following his suspension and shall deal with him based on his actions.
Namdas added that the House had disciplinary provisions to match all Jibrin’s irrational actions in the course of the suspension and shall apply them appropriately.
Jibrin was suspended on Wednesday, September 28 for breaching the practices and precedents of the House.
The House also called on Jibrin to tender a formal apology before his resumption of legislative duties.
“On this issue of court, I want it to be clear that there is clear separation of powers in this country. We have the legislature, the executive and the judiciary.
“No arm of government is to gag another, and I can assure you, if decisions are taken here and someone is aggrieved, he can run to where actions can be taken.
“But for us, we have done what is within the rules. The constitution empowers us to have our rules, to implement it and this has been implemented.
“If he goes to court tomorrow, we will brief you accordingly, but for now, nothing has happened,” Namdas said.
Meanwhile, the House yesterday resolved to investigate the N500bn debt owed Petroleum Pricing Marketing Company, PPMC, by major marketers and independent oil marketers.
The House said the decision is in line with sections 88 and 89 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, which empowers the house to carry out oversight functions on government institutiions.
The former chairman of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Appropriation, Representative Abdulmumin Jibrin, had described his suspension for 180 sitting days by the House as’completely inconsequential’.
Whatever product comes out of that process, as far as I am concerned, is completely inconsequential and cannot stand anywhere.
“The matter is in court and it is a matter of litigation,” he told Channels Television.
Mr Jibrin said he had asked his lawyer to file a suit against the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, for contempt.
“While I wait for the formal correspondent from the House, I have in anticipation instructed my lawyer, Femi Falana, to charge Speaker Dogara for contempt, because he is aware that the matter is in court and he went ahead to table the matter before the House and referred it to the ethics committee.
“Of Course, predictably, this is what they wanted and as far as I am concerned, it is not an issue,” he stressed.
The House had asked him to apologise, but the lawmaker said he would not apologise.
“I can tell you very clearly. I will never, ever, apologise to anybody in the House of Representatives.
“I did not commit any offense, I didn’t do anything wrong. I have said it repeatedly that in the five years that I have spent in the House of Representatives, I have never abused my office. I have never corruptly enriched myself, so I have no reason to apologise to anybody,” the Kano lawmaker said.