BREAKING: HOUSE OF REPS SUSPENDS JIBRIN FOR OVER A YEAR OVER BUDGET PADDING SCANDAL

The House of Representatives on Wednesday suspended Abdulmumin Jibrin, a lawmaker from Kano at the centre of the unfolding budget padding scandal, for 180 legislative days.

The House seats three days in a week and this consequently means that Mr. Jibrin’s suspension would last more than a year.

In a motion recommended by House Ethics Committee chairman, Nicholas Ossai, and adopted by the whole House, Mr. Jibrin will also not be able to hold any position of responsibility for the span of the current National Assembly.

Mr. Jibrin began stirring what experts now described as one Africa’s biggest parliamentary scandals in recent memory on July 21, a day after he was eased out as chairman of the powerful committee.

Although the House was taking a two-month recess at the time, Mr. Jibrin remained resolute in his quest to “end the massive corruption in the House.”

“My resolve to champion this cause was borne out of patriotism and desire to complement the present administration’s anti-corruption war from the legislative front,” Mr. Jibrin said in an email to PREMIUM TIMES on August 21.

Mr. Jibrin said the campaign had earned him “blackmail, propaganda and campaign of calumny” from Mr. Dogara, lawmakers loyal to him and their proxies.

The assault had been largely targeted at the Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara, and three other principal officers, whose resignation and prosecution he had continued to demand.

Mr. Dogara had announced the removal of Mr. Jibrin in a speech he read in plenary on July 20, alleging budget fraud and serial betrayal of trust.

To back his allegations against Mr. Dogara, Mr. Jibrin released damning documents to the media.

On July 30, the State Security Service sealed the secretariat of the Appropriation Committee in the National Assembly after Mr. Jibrin raised the alarm that Mr. Dogara had allegedly concluded plans to cart away computers and destroy evidence.

Mr. Jibrin also visited law enforcement agencies, including the EFCC, the SSS 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.

After several days of silence, Mr. Dogara succumbed to public demands for him to defend himself and came out with blistering statements denying all the charges against him.

Mr. Dogara took specific issue with the ‘budget padding’ catchphrase, saying it was a strange term to use when describing the actions of the legislature.

He also said lawmakers could not be probed by law enforcement agencies over any infractions in the National Assembly, but later walked back this statement.

At some point, the APC moved to contain the crisis, but its gag order lasted only a weekend. Consequently, lawmakers began openly criticising Mr. Jibrin for allegedly defacing the National Assembly, dealing a major blow to his crusade.

Mr. Jibrin’s isolation became even more pronounced after 10 principal officers of the House released a statement backing Mr. Dogara and denouncing Mr. Jibrin. Amongst them was Femi Gbajabiamila, the Majority Leader who many thought would be reluctant to openly back Mr. Dogara.

The development sparked speculation that Mr. Jibrin would be suspended upon resumption of the House from recess.

The House resumed on September 20 and a lawmaker loyal to Mr. Dogara moved a motion the next day to have Mr. Jibrin probed for allegedly breaching the privileges of the members.

Emmanuel Orker-Jev, a lawmaker from Benue, proposed tough sanctions against Mr. Jibrin for the damage his allegations have allegedly wrought on the House.

“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,” Mr. Orker-Jev said.

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.

Mr. Ossai, chairman of the committee, convened the first hearing on the matter September 23, during which Mr. Orker-Jev submitted his allegations against Mr. Jibrin.

Mr. Jibrin received an invitation to appear before the committee on Monday. But decided to boycott the hearing, even though his demand that the sitting be thrown open to the public was met by Mr. Ossai. Mr. Jibrin also asked his lawyer, Femi Falana, to seek discontinuation of committee’s activities in court.

Mr. Ossai said Mr. Jibrin’s failure to appear before his “properly and constitutionally constituted committee” was, in effect, a defence.

Mr. Jibrin had on Tuesday alleged subjudice saying the committee should not have sat since the matter was in court.

Mr. Jibrin’s suspension would see him banned from the premises of the National Assembly in the course of the disciplinary action. He would also not receive salaries or allowances.

Some sympathisers of Mr. Jibrin saw his suspension as partisan, draconian and counterproductive.

“This show of partisanship and support for Mr. Dogara is condemnable and too severe,” said a political analyst, Gbola Oba. Mr. Oba said Mr. Jibrin had suffered the same fate as Dino Melaye who was suspended in 2010 for breach of members’ privilege. Mr. Melaye is now a senator representing Kogi West.

“We knew they would gang up against him as they did against Mr. Melaye,” Mr. Oba said. “This clearly shows that the House has failed to move beyond its counterproductive ways of suspending anyone who challenges the status quo.

“If the House were a serious body, serious attention would be given to Mr. Jibrin’s claim so as to foster a thriving democratic experiment within the country.”

Source: PREMIUM TIMES.

For detailed analysis of this story, check us out at www.cupstv.com

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Budget Padding: Jibrin says he is ready to go to jail over budget padding saga

Former chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin, has said he was ready to go to jail if the corruption allegations he raised against Speaker Yakubu Dogara and three others were found to be false.

Jibrin has continued to urge his colleagues to push for the impeachment of Dogara.

Speaking at the weekend, Jibrin told journalists in Abuja that he stood by his allegations.

He said his press conference was to show evidence of all the allegations, adding that he was ready to go to any length to prove them.

The lawmaker, who is billed to appear before the ethics and privileges committee of the House today, said he would not be available for the committee’s proceedings because he had no confidence in the panel.

“As in several instances in the past, I am compelled to share these documents with the press today as a last resort because Speaker Dogara has continued to deny me the opportunity to present my case before my colleagues.

“I must confess that I am not an angel. I am imperfect and fallible, which are peculiar human traits. I therefore wish to apologise to Nigerians where I have erred in the past.

“I have fully repented and I will make it up for the country by staying on course, taking the personal risk at ensuring that I continue to expose corruption and corrupt persons in the House and beyond.

“This does not mean in any way that I am asking for immunity against investigation and prosecution if allegations are brought against me. I am ready to go to jail if found guilty of any offense. I have stated repeatedly that in the five years that I have been in the House, I have never abused my office nor corruptly enriched myself,” he said.

“I will urge the senate to rely on the doctrine of necessity to continue to discharge the duties of the National Assembly until such a time that the House of Representatives would have concluded the process of internal cleansing,” he added.

Source: Daily Post.

JIBRIN LAMBASTS DOGARA OVER MUFFLERS!

If you succeed in blackmailing your colleagues, you cannot blackmail Nigerians. Let’s not take the patience of Nigerians for granted.
 
When Francis Fukuyama wrote the book The End of History and the Last Man in 1992, he was not saying the world has come to an end but simply indicating the emergence of the last and final world order. What happened yesterday on the floor of the House was just the end of another beginning. The emergence of a struggle to establish a new order in the House of Representatives that will expose and deal with all forms of corruption both systemic and individual.
 
Mr Speaker, this struggle is like the rising sun, it is unstoppable. There is nothing you can do on earth to stop it. No amount of lobbying, legislative antics or blackmail of members of the House, Senate, Executive arm or individuals outside the House can help you and your cabal of few corrupt members. The day of reckoning is so close.
 
We all know you blackmailed members to get support and wear mufflers in a show of shame to celebrate you due to the abundance of systemic corruption (which people like you instituted) in the House that makes many members vulnerable and dependent. To you it was a “smart” move. You just want the entire House to go down with you because you know I will pull the trigger. It is gladdening that some courageous members defied your blackmail and rose to the occasion. History will be kind to them.
 
History will remember you as the Speaker who brought down and endanger the reputation of the House through budget fraud and monumental corruption. The House must embrace reforms. It is a reform you have lost the moral ground to superintend. How on earth a person like you who committed the biggest budget fraud in the history of the House will supervise budget reforms? It is time you woke up from your dream and embrace reality. The time has come, Whether you like it or not, justice will be served on you, Lasun, Doguwa and Ogor.
 
God bless Nigeria. Yours in service to the nation,
 
Hon Abdulmumin Jibrin PhD MBA.
Kiru-Bebeji Federal Constituency.

Hooray for Nollywood

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS in Nollywood, the world’s second largest movie industry, suggest that the much-loved Nigerian film scene is moving forward rapidly, both at home and on an international level.

The 2016 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) chose Lagos for its annual City to City programme, and TIFF Artistic Director Cameron Bailey sees this move as another step towards putting Nollywood on an “international platform.”

The work of eight Nigerian filmmakers was selected for the event, including ’76 by Izu Ojukwu, Daniel Emeke Oriahi’s Oko Ashewo (Taxi Driver) and romantic comedy The Wedding Party by Kemi Adetiba.

Another development since 2015 is that Nigeria can now compete for the Best Foreign Language Film Award at the Oscars.

The Voice caught up with some of Nollywood’s top actors, directors and influencers to discuss the industry’s evolution.

INDUSTRY

As far back as the 1960s, Nigerians were making movies, but it was not until the 90s, with the emergence of digital technology and online distribution, that Nollywood was born.

According to UK-based, award-winning director Chucks Mordi, who made his Nollywood debut with 1998’s Mama Sunday – which was shot on Super VHS, “with all the known limitations technically” – the industry was self-built and owes its birth to a few good men.

Mordi said:

“It was not created by big money, but by men and women who believed in our innate passion to tell our own stories, in our own way and to learn the ropes.”

COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT

Since 2014, the industry has seen the emergence of several blockbuster movies like Fifty, directed by acclaimed filmmaker Biyi Bandele; The CEO by Kunle Afolayan; and Stalker, directed by Moses Inwang, to name a few.

Nollywood has an estimated value of $5 billion, but filmmakers are yet to reap all the benefits of their efforts, with issues of copyright infringement, piracy and distribution, losing the industry, on average, $2 billion a year.

Director Seyi Babetope (When Love Happens and Lunch Time Heroes – widely regarded as Nigeria’s first family movie), said there are “well-meaning bodies and individuals fighting piracy. Film festivals are a very porous outlet for pirates and film content”.fifty

Actor Wale Ojo, star of When Love Happens, and who UK viewers may know for his roles in the sitcom, Meet the Adebanjos, said: “Piracy is not a singularly Nigerian problem, it is a worldwide problem. Nollywood is adopting interesting and unique ways of dealing with it.”

 

AUDIENCES

Wider ingestion of Nollywood within the African continent is in itself a challenge; one which Kunle Afolayan tried to address when casting for The CEO. His use of a Pan-African cast was an attempt to push the cross-cultural appeal of Nollywood across Africa.

Seyi Babatope takes the view that “attracting a wider audience requires calculated risk and the participation of a core group willing to support the evolution”.

Ojo sees the need to “satisfy home audiences, let more and more of our people have access to home-grown cinema and the rest will grow exponentially.”

BUDGETS

Nollywood is widely known for making movies on shoe-string budgets. But there has been a huge shift with filmmakers, who are now more on par with their peers internationally in regards to technology and access to bigger budgets.

Recognised as one of Africa’s leading female directors, Tope Oshin – who served as a Juror for the International Emmy Awards 2015 – said: “Small budgets don’t automatically translate to lower quality.”

Ojo believes that there has been more funding revenues from banks, private companies and individuals and there has been “a significant rise in funding opportunities for the budding filmmaker.”

taxi-driverNollywood is Nigeria’s second largest employer after agriculture. But government support, according to Oshin, is not so prominent. She said: “The immediate past presidency made funds available for capacity building and production, but we haven’t had similar opportunities with the new dispensation.”

 

DIVERSITY

Amaka’s Kin – The Women of Nollywood is dedicated to the late TV/film mogul, Amaka Igwe, and celebrates the few female directors in Nollywood, chronicling their journeys and challenges in a male dominated industry.

Although pay is not transparent in the industry, Oshin notes in regards to opportunities that “most definitely men are always called before women, especially when it comes to projects they like to refer to as ‘more technical’ or ‘too technical for a woman’.” Still, she adds that a few studios and companies like MNET and EbonyLifeTV “encourage female empowerment and gender equality,” with both trying to ensure equal opportunities for “men and women alike when bidding for directing jobs.”

NOLLYWOOD EVENTS

Globally, there are a number of longstanding and new events celebrating Nollywood and Nigerian cinema, like the Abuja International Film Festival (AIFF). There is also the newly created Nollyfest/AfriCine Films, a platform for celebrating Nollywood and African cinema, with the intention of bringing Nollywood to local cinema-goers.

Paris plays host to Nollywood Week Film Festival, which is now in its 4th year. Festival co-founder Serge Noukoue explained what the event had to offer the industry.

“It is about creating the right platform for a high standard of Nollywood films, and a fair representation of talent,” he said.

“In the last 10 years, we have seen more ambitious projects coming out of Nollywood, without restriction of stories and subjects.”

GOING FORWARD

Reflecting on the future of Nollywood, Ojo, who would like to add directing to his resume, feels the industry shouldn’t be shaken by the judgements of those outside the business.

“We need to stop trying to justify our existence based on the judgements of others,” he said. “It is not a healthy way to go forward.”

Ojo concluded: “Nigeria is not waiting 10 years for a cinematic revolution. The revolution is taking place right now.’

Source: The VOICE (UK).

Point of View: On the Appointment of Hindatu Umar as Argungu Chairman

There is nothing to celebrate or pray for here. This is just another madness and insanity of Argungu politicians in kebbi state political rascality. You just need to see the girl in question, or hear her speak or read about her to understand what am talking about.

They claim she is up to 25 years, poorly graduated from secondary school and couldn’t proceed further. She never married and couldn’t differentiate her right from left. Never worked or served in any governmental or private establishment. No administrative experience whatsoever. She can’t stand in front of you and explain any point, not even in Hausa language not to talk of English.

She was forcefully nominated as a councillor in the LG as part of the caretaker committee constituted by the state govt. Cos they don’t want to conduct election to elect the local govt executives and councillors.

Her nomination was courtesy of her godfather who is said to be married to her sister, even though some people say their relationship is more than just that.

As the caretaker chairmen were asked to vacate office and new ones rare to be appointed, her name was hinted, because of her Longleg. People of the local government felt ashamed, ridiculed and messed up!!!!

All I can say here is: THERE IS GOD WHO DOESN’T SLEEP. She didn’t meet any criteria to be a councillor let alone the (chairman of the) whole local government.

Author: Naseer Augie.

Budget Padding: Commotion in House of Reps as members settle for probing Abdulmumin Jibrin

The House of Representatives on Wednesday resolved to conduct an investigation into the allegations of tampering with the 2016 budget by some of its members.

This followed a point of order brought under Matters of Privilege by the Chairman, House Committee on Rules and Business, Emmanuel Oker-Jev.

It would be recalled that former Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin (APC-Kano), accused the Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara, and some principal officers of padding the 2016 budget.

Jibrin also demanded that Dogara should resign to allow investigations to be conducted into the matter.

Moving the point of order, Oker-Jev called for the suspension of Jibrin, describing his allegations as “sundry act of misconduct” against the members and institution of the House of Representatives.

According to him, Jibrin embarked on campaign of calumny and denigration by making publications in the media and internet against the entire membership of the House of Representatives and the National Assembly as an institution.

Oker-Jev said:

“Jibrin’s comments were contemptuous of the House of Representatives and a breach of collective privileges of the members of the house.”

However, efforts to oppose the point of order by Ali Madaki (APC-Kano) failed. Madaki said that it would be a honourable thing for the accused persons to resign in order to allow for proper investigation into the matter.

Reacting, Dogara said that since all the members of the House were accused, Madaki should be the first to resign.

The matter was referred to the Committee on Ethics and Privileges for proper investigation and to report back in one week.

But this was not before the House witnessed a commotion following the decision of Dogara to recognise Oker-Jev to speak ahead of Madaki. It took several minutes for order to be restored in the House.

Source: The Eagle Online.

Budget Padding: Commotion as Reps Members ‘Fight’ in National Assembly

The cat was let out of the bag on Wednesday, September 21, when the Chairman, House Committee on Rules and Business, Emmanuel Orker-jev, moved a motion on breach of his privilege and that of the House by the embattled sacked Chairman, House committee on Appropriations Committee, Abdulmumin Jibrin.

According to ‎Orker-jev‎, Honourable Jibrin, having dragged the name of principal members of the House in disrupt by going to the media and discussing issues of the House without due approval, Jibrin should be duly suspended.

In reaction, ‎members of the Transparency Group started shouting “No, no, no,”‎ as this was countered by pro-Dogara‎ group who shouted “Dogara, Dogara, Dogara,”‎ ‎with a green scarves with the inscription “I stand with Dogara distributed to members of the House.

‎In a bid to calm nerves, the issue was referred to the House Committee on Privileges and Ethics for onward consideration and discipline.

Meanwhile, in the Red Chambers, the major debate for the day was on the economic challenges and possible solutions.

The motion which was moved by Senate Leader, Ali Ndume representing Borno ‎South, attracted wide range of opinions as members reeled out possible solutions to the current economic quagmire.

Chief amongst such is the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu representing Enugu East and Senator Dino Melaye representing Kogi West.

According to Ekweremadu, “The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma and the Minister of finance, Kemi Adeosun, should be reshuffled and moved to other Ministries were their inputs can be felt.

Senator Melaye on the other hand, called for a complete sack of the duo, nothing that their incompetence has contributed to the present state of the nation’s economy.

He said, “Hunger and poverty have no political party or religion”, thereby calling on all members irrespective of political affiliation to put their hands on deck to resolve the crisis.

According to him, President Muhammadu Buhari should place total ban on the importation of Rice, refined Surgar, Milk, Groundnut, Cashew, Clothing/Textile/ Shoes, body cream, perfume, frozen fish, meat etc in a bid to boost local production.

Melaye, further lamented that the CBN was operating without a board and this is also creating a clog in the wheel of progress.

Senator Shehu Sani representing Kaduna Central said, “Federal Allocation to states from Abuja, is part of the problem.”

He, however, kicked against the sack of ministers as according to him, such will not address the problem.

Senator Samuel Anyanwu, representing Imo East called for a critical roundtable discussion and an immediate paradigm shift of President Buhari’s body language which according to him is deterring investors from coming into the country.

Senator George Akume, representing Benue North West, in his own part, kicked against the sale of national assets, nothing that those calling for the sale of these assets, have the means of buying them, even as he said that the blame game cannot stop.

Earlier

The House of Representatives is currently engulfed in a rowdy session, over a motion, seeking to suspend the Sacked Chairman, House of Representatives committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin.

During plenary on Wednesday, September 21, Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara, recognised Emmanuel Oker-Jev, Chairman Rules and Business, to move the motion, seeking Jibrin’s suspension.

The motion was then adopted and referred to the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges, for further deliberation.

At this point, members began shouting “Dogara, Dogara”.

Meanwhile, pro-Dogara protesters also stormed the National Assembly complex, in the early hours of Wednesday, demanding the immediate suspension of Jibrin.

Source: Post Nigeria.