Budget padding: Reps panel grills House rules chairman •‘Slates Monday for Jibrin to appear’

The House of Representatives Committee on Ethics and Privileges on its first sitting, on Friday, grilled the House Committee chairman on Rules and Bussiness, Honourable Oker-Jev Emmanuel, over allegation of budget padding levelled against the Speaker, Honourable Yakubu Dogara and other principal officers by former chairman. Appropriations, Honourable Abdulmumin Jibrin.

Honourable Oker-Jev had, through a motion, on Wednesday, claimed that Honourable Jibrin breached collective privileges of members through his allegation of budget padding and other unsubstantiated allegations he levelled against the institution.

The motion led to the House’s resolution to have the allegations Honourable Jibrin levelled against members and the House as an institution investigated.

But at the commencement of the investigation, the House committee decided to have Honourable Oker-Jev’s testimony taken.

Honourable Oker-Jev, upon questioning by the House committee, presented four exhibits which contained two video compact discs of recorded television programme  and 13 newspaper reports as evidence to back up his motion.

He informed the committee that on the day he moved his motion, about four members had approached him to complain about the allegation of budget padding raised by Honourable Jibrin and were ready to have it taken as a motion, but said that in order to save legislative time, he decided to move the motion on behalf of the members.

To this end, he said that allegations made by Honourable Jibrin were false, scandalous and had impinged on the image of the National Assembly as an institution.

He, however, told the committee to apply necessary sanctions as approved by the House rules against any member found guilty of such misconduct.

Meanwhile, the committee has scheduled September 26 for Honourable Jibrin to appear before it by 12 noon.