A former Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin, has said that he will not appear before the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges if the hearing is not public.
He said this in a statement on Wednesday after the House resolved to investigate him over his budget padding allegations against four principal officers, including the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara.
Jibrin argued in his statement that the decision to refer the matter to the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges was part of a plot to derail the ongoing external investigation by anti-graft agencies.
He said, “The grand plan is to dilute the ongoing external investigation by the police and EFCC and use the Ethics Committee for a soft landing.
“I have said repeatedly, I stand by my allegations and will continue this struggle to expose the 2016 budget fraud and corruption in the house even if I am alone,” he said.
Jibrin further said that internal investigation of the matter would imply making the Speaker a judge in the case.
“I completely disagree with this approach because it will mean that the speaker is superintending over his investigation and that clearly makes him a judge in his own case.
“The allegations I raised are too grievous to be reduced to such process (that is) open to manipulation and teleguiding.
“I will, therefore, continue to cooperate with the anti-graft agencies which are already investigating the matter and will also proceed to build a massive coalition with Civil Society Organisations and other well-meaning Nigerians.
“This is to ensure that this matter is not swept under the carpet.
“Since I can substantiate the allegations I raised with cogency, I will take up the opportunity provided by the Ethics Committee to state my case under the condition that the hearing will be public.
“And will allow the Press, CSOs, NGOs, NLC, ASUU, NANS, NBA and the general public to witness the entire proceedings.
“This is the only way that I can have the comfort and confidence that the proceedings, the investigations and the outcome will not be manipulated or compromised.
“I am ready to appear before the committee even today if the proceedings will be public.”