Abdulmumin Jibrin said on Thursday that he will not honour the invitation to appear before the House of Representatives’ Ethics Committee until he receives a formal invitation to that effect from the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara.
Mr. Jibrin said he had already defended all allegations of corruption against the speaker, and dismissed the fresh attempts by Ethics Committee to investigate him for corruption and official misconduct as a charade.
Nicholas Ossai, chairman of the committee, told the House during plenary on Wednesday that he was in possession of new allegations against Mr. Jibrin from his constituencies and a civic group.
Since Mr. Jibrin is already serving a one-year suspension for alleged breach of House’s ethics and privileges of members, Mr. Ossai said it was necessary to get the approval of the whole House to enable Mr. Jibrin enter the premises of the National Assembly.
Mr. Jibrin was declared a persona non-grata around the National Assembly precinct as part of the disciplinary actions lawmakers ordered against him when they decided to suspend him in September.
The offences largely stemmed from the allegations of budget padding that Mr. Jibrin raised against Mr. Dogara and other principal officers of the House.
Mr. Ossai invited Mr. Jibrin to face his committee after receiving a petition linking Mr. Jibrin to ownership of foreign accounts and another one from people of his Kiru/Bebeji Federal Constituency who alleged “poor representation” against him.
Aliyu Madaki, a fellow Kano lawmaker and Mr. Jibrin’s ally, sought to step down the invitation, saying any investigation of Mr. Jibrin while he is still serving his suspension would amount to double jeopardy. But his request was rejected by the whole House.
But in an e-mail to PREMIUM TIMES this afternoon, Mr. Jibrin said he would an issue official response to the invitation upon receipt of same from Mr. Dogara’s office.
“I will make a formal statement on the invitation and petitions when I receive an official communication from the Speaker or his agents,” Mr. Jibrin said. “But in the meantime, I wish to state categorically clear that this disgraceful action is an extension of the witch hunt launched against me by Speaker Dogara and his corrupt cabal in the House.”
Mr. Dogara’s spokesman, Turaki Hassan, did not immediately respond to PREMIUM TIMES’ request for comment Thursday evening.