The House of Representatives may witness a rowdy session as it resumes today (Tuesday) in connection with the alleged budget padding scandal in the chamber in which the House principal officers have been accused by the sacked House Chairman of the Appropriation Committee, Abdulmumin Jibrin.
It was gathered in Abuja, on Monday that members, backing the call for resignation of the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara; Deputy Speaker, Yussuff Lasun; the Whip, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa; and the Minority Leader, Leo Ogor, had concluded plans to ensure the matter would be debated by the lawmakers.
However, it was learnt that the leaders of the House and their supporters had argued that the issue could be handled as an internal affair of the House.
It was also gathered that Jibrin might be suspended during plenary today.
A member, who spoke with one of our correspondents on condition of anonymity, said, “We definitely cannot continue like this. No individual member is greater than the House. The way Jibrin is going about his agitation is an embarrassment not only to himself and the House but the All Progressives Congress as the governing party. The House must take a stand.
“What I think is likely to happen is that we may either hold a closed-door session to deal with this matter once and for all or allow our ethics committee to deal with it, but we have to take a decision.”
Jibrin’s allegations will not be ignored—Transparency Group
The Chairman of the Transparency Group, a pressure group within the House, Muhammad Soba, said issues raised by Jibrin would not be swept under the carpet.
Soba, in an interview said, “We will demand that the accused persons step down for proper investigations to be carried out. It is as simple as that.”
Members of the TG held a secret meeting and resolved to summon Jibrin.
One of our correspondents learnt that the meeting, which was held at an undisclosed location in Abuja, on Monday night, had close to 80 members in attendance.
It was gathered that members of the group sent words to Jibrin to appear before them to state his case and explain the level of his involvement in the budget padding saga.
Members of the group also agreed to resist any attempt to pass a vote of confidence in Dogara and those accused of complicity in the saga and reject any attempt to suspend the embattled Jibrin.
A member of the group, who spoke on condition of anonymity on Monday, stated, “We met with close to 80 of our members in attendance. Our demands are not difficult for the Speaker and his group to meet; they should simply step aside and submit themselves for investigations. If they are found blameless, they can come back.
“We hear there is a plot to suspend somebody. It is our considered opinion that it will be hasty without giving all concerned a fair hearing.”