…….Charges anti-corruption agencies to beam Searchlight into Alleged legislative corruption…..
Following the lingering crisis rocking the National Assembly, the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) has called on the nation’s civil society organizations and the generality of Nigerian people to commence in earnest the demand for holistic reforms in the management of the National Assembly’s funds.
The revered human rights group further demand the expeditious conclusion of investigations into the allegations of Hon. Abdulmumini Jubrin against the entire National Assembly; both the House of Representatives and Senate.
The group made the call in a statement made available to journalists on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Rasheed Raji Ropo.
The human rights group also charged Nigerians on the need to form a united front and troop out en masses to protest against the hash economy and huge corruption allegedly perpetrated by the members of the National Assembly, saying there can be no better time for Nigerians to return to the street than now.
According to the statement, CDHR is deeply concerned with the failure of the House to investigate allegations of ‘budget padding’ raised by Honourable Jubrin, while the motion on abuse of members’ privileges was raised, debated and referred to ethics and privileges committee of the House for investigation later resulting in the suspension of Jubrin from the green chamber for 180 siting days and sealing off his office.
The human rights group said, it has watched with awe, the macabre dance and ignominious development unfolding in the National Assembly; the allegations of corruption and counter allegations involving Hon Jubrin Abdulmumini and leadership of the Federal House of Representatives.
The group said though it is within the rules and powers of the House to regulate its internal affairs and sanction an erring member, but the imbroglio surrounding the House of Representatives is a National embarrassment that transcends an internal affairs of the hallowed chambers.
The statement reads thus: “There are fundamental unanswered questions deserving not only investigation by the Parliament, but by also the anti-corruption agencies.
“Honourable Jubrin has admitted to some criminal conspiracies jointly perpetrated against the Nigerian people by both chambers of the National Assembly, under his supervision as the Chairman of House Committee on Appropriation. This admittance is too weighty for the House leadership’s dismissal.
“While recognizing the doctrine of separation of power, the current government’s anti-corruption fight must be total and holistic.
“As the leadership of the Senate is being prosecuted by the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation, based on investigation of the Police, hence, anti-corruption agencies are challenged to step up their game and conclude their investigation expeditiously.
“These self confessed forgery and abuse of public trust are crimes within investigative and prosecutorial powers law enforcement agencies.
“This case is akin to “an armed robbery suspect walking into a police and confessing to several bank robbery over the years uncaught, because he was cheated in the last robbery by his gang members”.
“It is expected of the Police to arrest the disgruntled member of the robbery gang, investigate all the claims, arrest other members of the gang and prosecute them once there are merits in the claims.
The group frowned at the way and manner at which the allegation is being handled by the concerned authorities, saying the investigation of abuse of privilege of members and subsequent suspension of Honourable Jubrin by the whole House, across parties line, is an indication of the House resolution to sweep the matter under the carpet.
“This call would strengthen our earlier calls for an open National Assembly. The process of budgetary process and execution framework must be open, transparent and accountable to the people.
“With the obvious decision of the House not to roughen the feather in their criminal enterprise, we hereby call on members of the civil society organizations to commence the demand for holistic reform in the management of the National Assembly funds”, the statement said.
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