By Emman Ovuakporie
ABUJA—Members of the House of Representatives Committee on Public Safety and National Intelligence were, yesterday, intimidated into submission by chairman of Presidential Review Panel, PRP, on National Intelligence Agency, Amb. Babagana Kingibe.
The committee, which was charged with the responsibility of probing into the missing $44 milion belonging to the agency and the circumstances surrounding the appointment of Mr. Ahmed Rufa’i Abubakar as director general was held up by Kingibe and his colleagues when they refused to sit down.
The PRP, chaired by Kingibe had been summoned by the committee to explain its role in the alleged disappearance of the $44 million, as well as Mr Abubakar’s appointment.
But on getting to the venue of the hearing yesterday, Kingibe stood for a few minutes when the clerk of the committee approached him, asking him and his colleagues to take their seats.
But the former ambassador declined, saying, “no, I won’t sit down, what is all these, do you people want to make a show of us?”
The clerk then urged him to see the committee chairman, Aminu Sani Jaji, who was seated with his colleagues awaiting Kingibe’s arrival.
But instead of approaching the chair as protocol demands in National Assembly, Kingibe said: “No! I won’t go there, you tell him to come.”
Out of courtesy, the chairman rose from his seat and met him as they both stepped out of the hearing room.
Kingibe finally agreed to sit, and following his discussion with the chairman, Kingibe began the introduction of his panel members.
He also tried to introduce other members of the panel, but the committee chairman 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.’’
After the introduction, the chairman announced that journalists should leave the hall for members to have a closed door session with Kingibe and his colleagues.