Jibrin Drags House of Reps. to Court, Demands N1bn Damages

The suspended House of Representatives member, Abdulmumin Jibrin, has filed a fresh suit against the leadership of the House, Friday.
A former Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Jibrin filed the suit at the Federal High Court, Abuja, shortly after he withdrew the one he filed on August 9 challenging plans to stop his suspension.
In the suit Jibrin asked the court to declare his suspension illegal and also to order the House to pay him N1bn as damages for his suspension.
Jibrin was at the centre of padding scandal, which he accused the Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara, and three other principal officers, whose resignation and prosecution he had continued to demand.
He had made damning allegations against Dogara, his Deputy, Yussuf Lasun; Chief Whip, Ado Doguwa; Minority Leader, Leo Ogor; and nine other members, accusing them of padding the 2016 budget.
He was thereafter ‘tried’ by the Ethics and Privileges Committee and found guilty.
House of Representatives thus on September 28 suspended Jibrin, for 180 legislative days, in a motion recommended by House Ethics and Privileges Committee Chairman, Nicholas Ossai, and adopted by the whole House.
The House had on September 21 moved a motion to have Jibrin probed for allegedly breaching the privileges of the members.
In moving the motion, Emmanuel Orker-Jev said: “The image of the House has never been worse than this before. Hon. Jibrin was reckless and the allegations were false. He knew that the allegations were false and scandalous and he had no regards at all to whether the allegations were true or false”
The House subsequently assigned the matter to its Ethics and Privileges Committee for further investigation and to report back within a week with its findings and recommendations.
Ossai, Chairman of the Committee, convened the first hearing on the matter September 23, during which Orker-Jev submitted his allegations against Jibrin.
But Jibrin boycotted the hearing, even though his demand that the sitting be thrown open to the public was met.
The Committee said then that Jibrin’s failure to appear before the “properly and constitutionally constituted committee” was, in effect, a defence.
It then recommended his suspension which the House adopted.
Jibrin, in the fresh suit on Friday, urged the court to declare his suspension as a violation of his fundamental human right to freedom of expression.
He prayed the court to declare that the resolution passed by the House of Representatives suspending him was in breach of Section 68 of the 1999 Constitution as amended. He asked the court to restrain the House of Representatives from preventing him from. Participating in the committees of the House or accessing the legislative chambers to perform his legislative duties.
Justice John Tsoho has fixed November 22 for hearing of the suit.
Earlier, Tosho had struck out a suit filed by Jibrin, challenging his suspension from the House after his counsel Chukuma Nwachukwu asked for discontinuance. In the withdrawn suit, Jibril had attempted to stop the alleged plan by Dogara, Lasun and other principal officers to suspend him.

Author: News Editor

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