The National Youth Council of Nigeria on Sunday said it had traced £1.558m (N825m) to a United Kingdom account allegedly owned by the embattled former chairman, House of Representatives’ Committee on Appropriations, Abdulmumin Jibrin.
The Head of the Anti-corruption unit of the NYCN, Ifeanyi Okonkwo, said this in an e-mail he sent to The PUNCH in Abuja.
When contacted on the telephone, Mr. Ikenga Ugochinyere, who identified himself as the President of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, said, “The statement came from our anti-corruption unit. Like you can see from the documents attached, we received the information from a reliable source in the UK.”
Okonkwo said the operation of the accounts contravened existing Nigerian laws on the conduct of elected and appointed public officers.
The group said documents it obtained from the UK revealed that Jibrin allegedly “owns and operates the said account domiciled in ING Bank Channels Island, United Kingdom.”
It said, “The bank is located at Forum House, Grenville Street, St-Heller, Jersey JE2 4UF, Channels Island United Kingdom.
“Jibrin opened the account with his address at 453 Crank brook Road, Ilford Essex IG2 6EW.
“Details of the account statement obtained by some lawyers in the UK show that Jibrin has a total £1.558m (approximately N825m) in the account between June 1, 2016 and June 30, 2016.”
The group claimed that Jibrin withdrew the sum of £623.44 pounds within the one month period bringing the balance in the account to £1.376, 193.84 British pounds.
“Jibrin’s ownership of foreign account contravenes the provisions of the 1999 Constitution which bars public officers from owning and operating foreign account,” the group added.
Paragraph 3, Part one of the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, states:
“The President, Vice-President … members of the National Assembly and Houses of Assembly of states and such other public officers or persons shall not maintain or operate a bank account in any country outside Nigeria.”
Paragraph 18 of same Schedule provides to the effect that where the Code of Conduct Tribunal finds a public officer guilty of contravention of any provision of the code of conduct the punishments to be imposed include vacation of office or seat; disqualification from membership of a legislative house; seizure or forfeiture of assets or property being proceeds of such corruption; and prosecution in addition to the above sanctions; where the conduct constitutes a crime.
Attempts to get a reaction from Jibrin were unsuccessful. He neither picked nor returned any of the calls put through to him.
A response to a text message sent to him was still being awaited as of 7:05 when this report was filed.
However, at about the same time, Jibrin twitted: “When I heard Speaker Dogara wants to suspend me I laugh” on his twitter handle @AbdulAbmj.