By Samuel Ogidan and Gift Chapi Odekina
Members of the House of Representatives Committee on Public Safety and National Intelligence investigating the missing $44 million belonging to National Intelligence Agency (NIA) were yesterday reduced to unexpected level by the chairman of the Presidential Review Panel, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe.
The committee had last week summoned Kingibe to appear before it to explain his role in the missing fund and the controversy surrounding the appointment of the new Director-General of the agency, Mr. Rufai Ahmed Abubakar.
The committee members were, however, treated like boys yesterday by the former SGF, who refused to sit, when he appeared before the lawmakers.
When asked to sit, the former Ambassador refused, saying, “No, I won’t sit down. What is all these? Do you people want to make a show of us?”
Even with the appeal by the Committee’s Clerk that Kingibe should take his seat and to see the panel’s Chairman, Hon. Aminu Sani Jaji, who was seated with his colleagues awaiting his arrival, as protocol demands in the National Assembly, was ignored.
Kingibe replied: “No! I won’t go there, you tell him to come.”
Out of courtesy, the chairman rose from his seat and met him, and they both stepped out of the hearing room.
After a few minutes of discussion, the duo returned to the room with Jaji wearing a long face.
Having finally agreed to sit, Kingibe began the introduction of his panel members by saying that “I’m the chairman of the Presidential Review Panel” without actually mentioning his name.
He also tried to introduce other members of the panel, but Jaji interrupted him, saying that he should allow the men to introduce themselves.
However, the former ambassador ignored the chairman’s observation and said: “All of these men you see here are above 70 years old with a combined age of over 300 years.”