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Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Abdulmumin Jibrin’s suspension is a constitutional breach- Femi Gbajabiamila

Majority leader of the House of Reps, Femi Gbajabiamila, has described as unconstitutional, the suspension of the sacked chairman of the House committee on Approrpiation, Abdulmumin Jibrin, for one year. The House had on September 28th, suspended Jibrin for failing to appear before the committee on Ethics and Privileges over the allegations of Budget padding he leveled on Speaker Yakubu Dogara and 13 other lawmakers.


In this interview with Thisday, Gbajabiamila questioned the legally of suspending a lawmaker who represents a constituency from the House. He says suspending a lawmaker invariably means suspending a constituency from participating in the activities of the National assembly. What he said below
"My concern on the suspension, is the same that I always had, even when Dino Melaye and others, were suspended in the 6th Assembly. More so, as this was a one year suspension. Now what is this concern? I find it difficult as a Constitutional Lawyer, to accept that our rules can actually pass constitutional muster, if put to test. If you suspend a member for a year, you are effectively suspending his constituency and the people he represents, from participation in participatory democracy. This, in my own personal opinion, violates the constitution which delineates the country into Federal Constituencies for effective representation, at the centre. For every constituency, it is a right to be represented in the national assembly, not a privilege that can be taken away.  
The constitution says clearly that, all Federal Constituencies must be represented for 4 years, and lists, I believe, only 1 or 2 circumstances under which such a constituency can be unrepresented. e.g. by process of recall etc. Even at that, the vacancy is to be filled immediately. Our constitution does not envisage a situation where a Federal Constituency is unrepresented or underrepresented. If, for instance, an issue comes up in a member’s constituency, that requires federal attention or legislative address, who do they go to? We cannot take away a mandate, given by the people or short change a constituency. In law, the seat of a representative is held in trust for the constituency. It is an in rem matter, not a personam matter. This is why when a member gets up to speak, he goes through the formality of announcing his name and the constituency he represents. In fact, in other democracies and Legislatures, when a Speaker wants to recognise a Representative to speak, he addresses him or her not even by name, but as for instance, “the gentleman from so so constituency”.  
That is the pre-eminence given to a constituency in a democratic setting. So it is not about Honourable Jibrin, it is about Beweji Constituency. I do not stand in the gap for Jibrin, or is this in any way a defence on his behalf. You may not know this, but Jibrin and I stopped relating as friends and colleagues, since March or thereabout. However, I am not one to shy away from the truth and the rule of law. I believe that there are other ways that would be constitutional, if the House wants to discipline any member. On whether this was contempt of court, I believe that you are speaking about the Federal High Court decision in the Melaye case, when the Court said that the House lacked the powers to suspend the members. I do not remember the basis upon which the Court made its decision, but I will definitely look at it again. I suspect it was on the basis of fair hearing, as provided in the Constitution"he said

28 comments:

Uju Phil said...

Please tell'em pen robbers!

vinna saviour said...

Aiit seen

Anonymous said...

Chineke, this is a brain!

Anonymous said...

Well said.

@bolddy said...

He made a point tho, not about jubrin but is about the constituency he is representing

Anonymous said...

Nigerians are the best people any corrupt government will kill to be blessed with.

Anonymous said...

Stupid people, wealthy government.

Anonymous said...

Mumu people, sharp government! KONTINU

Odibe Blessing said...

Hmmmmmmmmmm

Juliet Iwuno said...

Shey una dey see am now??? Linda take note!

ike manuel said...

Wise Words from a Wise one! suspending a serving house of reps member means suspending the entirety of the constituency he represents.. It is totally against the constitution

Na me talk am!

Long Live Lib!!!

Mr B said...

Wonder shall never end. Is it not the same Hon. Gbajabiamila that moved a motion to adopt the report of the committee that summoned HON. Jibrin for questioning? The truth shall prevails one day. Masses are watching with keen interest.

Vivian Reginalds said...

well...
-D great anonymous now as Vivian Reginalds

Anonymous said...

ah beg femi gbaja sit down jare!!! always posturing and paying journalists to show us how much grammar you can speak. no be all of una dey chop the money wey jibrin dey talk about so?? ah beg stop using grammar to distract us. ALL OF UNA NA D SAME JARE!!!!

APPLELIPX said...

This jibrin thing is eventually turning out really bad.

What every reasonable people of their nature should have done is suspend all those accused and the accuser if found wanting for a period of tym untill an independent investigation is carrid out to clear them

I knew this matter will b swept under d mat with the godfatherism in nigeria

How can a few powerful people trample on millions of innocent citizens n nothing can b done abt it

backspace983 said...

jibriin my man chy. this for u,http://Youthnize.com/?ref=188405

Eleojo Blessing said...

Ok ooo

Eddy Ogbunambala said...

Eziokwu

Anonymous said...

But Gbaja moved the motion.. He was on the floor
When the speaker called for votes, no single Nay
Why didn't Gbaja say nay
He is hypocritical
Haba! 1. 2 billion dollars even you collected?
Don't pretend any holier than thou attitude
Hypocrite! Liar!
Seun Lagos

Anonymous said...

But Gbaja moved the motion.. He was on the floor
When the speaker called for votes, no single Nay
Why didn't Gbaja say nay
He is hypocritical
Haba! 1. 2 billion dollars even you collected?
Don't pretend any holier than thou attitude
Hypocrite! Liar!
Seun Lagos

Anonymous said...

Abegiii Gbaja no pretend for us jare

Dozie said...

Frank Talk!!!

Dozie said...

Frank Talk!!!

Dozie said...

Frank Talk!!!

Dozie said...

Frank talk

Dozie said...

Frank talk!

Anonymous said...

WHY IS HE BRINGING THIS UP NOW........YOU DON DEY COLLECT SHARE ABI? THERE IS GOD OOOOOOOOO

Anonymous said...

True talk

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