President Muhammadu Buhari has met with a suspended member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Abdulmumin Jibrin behind closed doors at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Suspended member of the House of Representatives Abdulmumin Jibrin who blew a whistle over irregularities in the preparation of the 2017 budget has met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja.
Jibrin who hails from Kano state was suspensed for 108 legislative session over a budget padding scandal and has been on suspension for over 16 months now.
Speaking to State House Correspondents after a closed door meeting with President Buhari, Senator Jubrin said the suspension period has been a learning curve.
Senator Jibrin was suspended in September 2016 for 180 legislative days but he has spent over 400 days in suspension.
According to him, his mission to the villa was a private one to see the President whom they have not met for a while and to wish his son, Yusuf, quick recovery after a head injury and broken limb from a bike accident.
He expressed confidence in the nation’s judiciary that he will get justice at the end of the day.
The suspended Senator also said he was not in the villa to seek the President’s intervention over his suspension nor did they discuss the crisis rocking the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Kano State.
Specifically on why he was in the villa, he said, “As you are aware I have not seen the President for a while now. Is a meeting between a son and a father.”
Asked whether he has sought the President’s intervention on his political crisis in the House of Representatives, Jubrin said, “well, I cannot comment on that. The most important thing is that I saw him and he is a very high spirit. I greeted like a son and he spoke to me like a father.”
On whether the issue of the President’s son accident came up during their interaction, Jibrin said, “Oh of course. I greeted him and wish his son quickest recovery.”
Commenting on how he feels about campaigns to have him recalled to the House of Representatives, he said, “is only normal. Of course Nigerians like justice, my constituency has been suspended for 16 months, so is only normal that people will talk and ask questions, why are we not back on the aspect of court case that has been lingering for the past 16 months.
I think these are some of the reasons people are raising issues in the public glare”. He noted that “for every situation like this there is always an opportunity to learn, is a learning curve so is fine.”
On how he felt since his counterpart Senator Ali Ndume was recently recalled, Jibrin said, “Well, that is the interesting thing about the situation. The same case, similar case, identical case was dispensed with, within two months but I’m is still hanging in the court system but again I know the Nigerian judiciary is just so I’m pretty sure that soonest I will be able to get judgement and my constituency will soon get back to the house.”
The Speaker House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara had announced the removal of Jibrin in a speech he read in plenary on July 20, 2016 alleging budget fraud and serial betrayal of trust.
On July 30, the State Security Service sealed off secretariat of the Appropriation Committee in the National Assembly after Jibrin raised the alarm that Dogara had allegedly concluded plans to cart away computers and destroy evidence.
Jibrin also visited law enforcement agencies, including the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Department of State Security (DSS) and the police, where he said he personally submitted petitions detailing evidence of fraudulent manipulation of budget by Mr. Dogara, his deputy Yusuf Lasun, House Whip, Alhassan Doguwa, Minority Leader, Leo Ogor, and nine others.
Spokesperson of the House, Hon. Abdulrazaq Namdas had reportedly insisted that Jibrin was yet to complete his suspension and that Jibrin would have to apologise to the lower chamber as a condition for his return to the chamber.