The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, and 13 other lawmakers yesterday, asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to hands-off a suit the erstwhile Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Jibrin Abdulmumin lodged against them. In an 11-paragraphed affidavit deposed to the court by one Dr. Abel Ochigbo, a Clerk of the House Committee on Appropriation, the defendants, said it would be in the interest for the court to terminate hearing on Jibrin’s suit. According to them, “The power of appropriation is conferred on the National Assembly as whole and as such no single member, including the plaintiff, is constitutionally vested with the power or authority to decide how much money to admit or which projects to include in the bill of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“That the 2016 Appropriation Bill was passed by the House of Representatives and the National Assembly as mandated by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the standing orders of the House, and was authenticated pursuant to the Acts Authentication Act 2004, and was duly assented to by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in compliance with the Constitution and has therefore become the Appropriation Act 2016. That the issue of inflation of the 2016 Budget does not arise as the Appropriation Bill was passed by the House of Representatives pursuant to powers vested in the House by the Constitution and in line with the standing orders of the House and the Bill was duly certified pursuant to the provisions of the Acts Authentication Act before it was duly assented to by President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and it is now being executed as an Act of the National Assembly.”
Cited as 1st to 14th defendants in the suit are the House of Reps. Clerk of the House, Dogara; Deputy Speaker, Hon. Yusuf Lasun; Chief Whip, Alhassan Doguwa; and the Minority Leader, Leo Ogor, Herman Hembe, Umar Mohammed Bago, Zakari Mohammed, Chike Okafor, Dan Asuquo, Jagaba Adams, Haliru Jika and Uzoma Abonta.