RipplesNigeria - The peace and harmony the House of Representatives seemingly enjoyed following the crisis over the election of its principal officers, was shattered recently soon after Honourable Abdumumin Jibrin (APC-Kano) was relieved of his position.
Jibrin, the erstwhile Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation was sacked by the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara.
This move did not go down well with Jibrin, who set forth a torrent of allegations against the Speaker, accusing him of padding the 2016 budget and influence peddling.
He also accused Dogara’s deputy, Lasun Yusuf, Chief Whip, Ado-Doguwa and Minority Leader, Leo Ogor, of alleged financial recklessness.
Despite threats by the leadership of the House to wield the big stick against the Kano born lawmaker, including dragging him before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and a lawsuit threat against him by the Speaker, Jibrin has stuck to his guns, insisting Dogara and the others are guilty of the allegations.
He vowed to reel out breeches by Dogara on a daily basis, a promise he has so far kept.
A twist was however added to the drama, when a new group in the House, Transparency Group, came out calling for the prosecution of the speaker and the three other principal officers, based on Jibrin’s allegations.
The group, which claimed to have the signatures of 102 honourable members, also disclaimed the House spokesman, Abdulrazak Namdas, saying his position on the controversy was not the position of the House, and therefore was not speaking on behalf of all members.
They also noted that the allegations were not against the House but the speaker and the three principal officers.
The Transparency group has therefore called on the EFCC, and the ICPC to take a closer look at the accusations against Dogara, and act on a petition sent to them, by coming into the house to investigate the allegations.
There are fears in some quarters that the entrance of the group into the Dogara/Jibrin faceoff may just be the beginning of another episode in the House of Representatives in a fashion similar to the current happening in the Senate.
It would be recalled that the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, are facing criminal prosecution over alleged forgery of the Senate rules 2015.
The prosecution of the duo, seen in many quarters as political persecution over their emergence against the wishes of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, has continued to cause tension and suspicion in the Senate that is grossly polarized between the Like Minds and the Unity Forum.
The emergence of the Transparency Group, hitherto unknown and its insistence on the probe and prosecution of Dogara and his co-travellers, is akin to the situation in the Senate with the Unity Forum consistently calling for the head of Saraki and Ekweremadu.
The current controversy and push for Dogara’s prosecution is seen by many as an attempt to completely decimate the influence and effectiveness of the National Assembly and render it impotent.
Many Nigerians are therefore wondering if this is part of a plan to discredit the legislature and bring it to public ridicule. Could Honourable Jibrin be acting out a script written and directed by the APC and the presidency, as both have never hidden their displeasure over how leaders of both chambers emerged?
What is the motive behind the vehemence with which Jibrin is pursuing his allegations and since when has the Transparency Group been in existence?
There are also thinking in some quarters, that the new twist to the House crisis, may just put Dogara in the same scenario as Saraki who is presently being distracted from his official duties by prosecutions for his alleged role in certain actions taken in the legislative chamber.
As Jibrin continues to reel out alleged crimes by Dogara, and the calls for anti-graft agencies to step in getting louder, how soon the Speaker may have to face the courts is anybody’s guess.
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