On this day in 2016, Hon Abdulmumin Jibrin, the lawmaker representing Kiru/Bebeji constituency in the House of Representatives, was served a 180-day suspension as punishment for dragging the House through mud with accusations and counter accusations in a widely-publicised budget padding scandal.
Hon Jibrin served as the House of Reps Committee on Appropriation but was removed in a controversial situation that may have triggered his decision to go rogue. In July 2016, Jibrin released series of documents that pointed to an illegal manipulation of the 2016 budget by the House Speaker, Hon Yakubu Dogara and three principal officers – deputy speaker, Yusuf Lasun, House Whip, Alhassan Doguwa and Minority Leader, Leo Ogor.
Beyond the accusations that his fellow lawmakers had inserted fake projects in the budget, he went ahead to point out foulplay in the National Assembly’s Statutory Allocations, internal fraud and abuse of office.
In August of the same year, the embattled lawmaker went on a Twitter rant that makes for what may be the longest thread in Nigeria’s Twitter history. In 207 tweets, he detailed the crisis in the House, raised new allegations and apologised to the chairmanship of the All Progressive Congress (APC) for the role he played in “the election of the extremely corrupt Speaker Dogara”.
In the months succeeding his suspension, Hon Jibrin filed a N1 billion suit against the House seeking damage for the suspension and attempted to get the attention of President Muhammadu Buhari to open up a probe into the allegations considering the president touted his administration as anti-corruption; all to no avail.
Three months ago, he received an invitation from anti-graft agency, EFCC requesting him to make further clarifications on the budget fraud. At the time, the invitation gave us the sense that the agency was not done investigating the issue but it’s been mum since then.
Hon Jibrin’s suspension period has, so far, been characterised by anti-corruption campaigns in and out of the country, delivery of projects to his constituents and Twitter endorsements and reproof of some of Buhari’s policies, whichever is relevant per time. There was even a time we were almost certain the lawmaker had launched a new political ambition come 2019.
Save for a few activities on social media this month, Hon Jibrin has been largely off the radar. On this “anniversary” of his suspension, he shared a tweet blaming the House of “denying his constituents representation in the House”.
1 year today of denying my constituents representation in the House and 1 year taken off my 4 year CONSTITUTIONAL mandate…ONLY IN NIGERIA! pic.twitter.com/ofxnyoOLS5
— Abdulmumin Jibrin (@AbdulAbmJ) September 28, 2017
Not only is Jibrin’s suspension a year old, the budget padding scandal is well over one year old and although we’re made to believe an investigation is ongoing, one can conclude at this point that it is a lost cause. Jibrin himself seems to have moved on.
The question now is: when will the 180 legislative days completely elapse?