The last may not have been heard on the raging padding controversy at the lower legislative chamber as the House of Representatives appropriation committee yesterday publicly disowned the former chairman of the committee, Abdulmumin Jibrin, saying that he was on his own.
The committee also said that Jibrin worked on the 2016 budget as a consultant in an undisclosed location for three weeks.
The Deputy Chairman of the committee, Chris Azubogu, stated this when he spoke to journalists in Abuja.
He explained that based on Jibrin’s unilateral decisions on behalf of the committee, complaints were made to the speaker that he should be removed from his position as chairman.
According to him, Jibrin allotted all decisions to himself without conferring with members.
“We want to state categorically that the ousted Chairman’s action does not in any way reflect the position of the Committee.
“He has constantly allotted all the actions and decisions of the Committee to himself without conferring with the Members.
“For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to state that a comprehensive collation of the reports of the budget from the various standing committees of the house was done by the appropriation committee which was in the process of deliberation when the ousted chairman unilaterally hijacked the entire budget to a hideout with his consultant without the consent of the committee.
“That was the last time the Committee saw the budget only for Hon Jibrin Abdulmumin to resurface about three weeks later, with a report purported to have come from the Committee.
“In his calm and peaceful manner, Mr Speaker sought to resolve the matter amicably in the overall interest of the house and the nation.
“In his usual recalcitrant manner, Hon Abdulmumin preferred the confrontational approach which irked the members to request for his urgent removal from office. This request was overwhelmingly supported by the entire House.
“In response to this demand by members, Mr Speaker had no choice than to act accordingly in order to maintain the integrity of the whole house.”
While stating that there was no offence known to the Nigerian law as budget padding, Azubogu said there was no breach in the appropriation process that will warrant any external interference.
“We, therefore, request that Hon. Jibrin Abdulmumin should tow the path of honour and conduct himself in a manner befitting an Honourable Member of the House of Representatives, “he said.