While appealing for leniency, House Minority Leader, Rep. Chinda pleaded with the Speaker and the House to let the matter go, stating that it was not as serious as it was been painted.
The House Representatives on Tuesday experienced mild drama as Rep. Bob Solomon (Rivers, PDP) flared up at Deputy Speaker, Benjamin Kalu, who presided over the plenary session.
The drama commenced when lawmakers from different geopolitical zones were given the opportunity to speak on Nigeria’s 63rd Independence Anniversary, with about fifteen lawmakers, including some Principal Officers from different geopolitical zones.
This is as House Minority Leader, Rep. Kingsley Chinda from Rivers State, the same State as Rep. Solomon, was given an opportunity to speak as well.
Trouble, however, started when Rep. Solomon wanted to also make contributions but was turned down by the Presiding Officer, who insisted that the House was running out of time, adding that the number of lawmakers who have made contributions on the matter covered all zones.
Rep. Bob Solomon persisted, however, as he shouted, “Mr Speaker, Point of Order, Point of Order, Mr Speaker.” The Speaker would then rule on the matter, leading the Rivers lawmaker to flare up, “İ am utterly disappointed, Mr Speaker, for shutting me down.”
Minutes later, Rep. Inuwa Garba (PDP, Gombe) raised a Point of Order stressing that his privilege had been breached following the action of the Rivers lawmaker.
“Mr. Speaker, my privilege has been breached. The House is guided by rules and regulations and what Solomon Bob just displayed is against my privilege as a lawmaker, this House and the parliament as whole. It is totally unethical and unlawful, and I therefore suggest that Solomon Bob be given one week to tender a written apology to this House and if he fails to do so, he should then be suspended for three (3) months,” he stated.
While appealing for leniency, House Minority Leader, Rep. Chinda pleaded with the House to let the matter go; stating that it was not as serious as it was been painted.
. “We have to first all determine what our privileges are. Even on the floor of the House you see people fighting and throwing chairs so it should not get to that,” the House Minority Leader noted.
Ruling on the matter, Presiding Officer, Rep. Kalu insisted that rules govern the House. “The House is governed by rules, and I think we should not jettison that. We are giving Honourable Bob Solomon the opportunity before the end today to come and apologise,” he remarked.
However, less than two hours after the incident, Rep. Bob Solomon tendered a verbal apology to the House, which the Presiding Officer accepted.