OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives on Tuesday urged President Muhammdu Buhari to name any member of the National Assembly allegedly involved in sponsorship of violent separatists agitations in the Southern parts of the country.
This call came after the President alleged there was a lawmaker financing agitations in the South West/East.
During his Independence Day speech last Friday, Buhari stated that the recent arrest of leaders of the separatists’ movements, Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday (Igboho) Adeyemo revealed some high-profile financiers, including a lawmaker. However, the President withheld their names.
The resolution followed a matter of privilege moved by Ben Igbakpa (PDP, Delta). Igbakpa demanded that the President should name the concerned lawmaker to save the image of the parliament.
In a motion of privilege arising from order 6 Rule 2 of the House Standing Order, Igbakpa observed that Section 17(a) of the Legislative Houses (Powers and Privileges) Act, 2017, confers the constitutional responsibilities of lawmaking as enshrined in Section 4 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) on the House.
Further, the Delta lawmaker expressed concern over the gravity of the allegation levelled against the legislative arm of government by the head of the Executive Arm of the government.
He called on National Assembly leadership to meet with the President to name the serving member of the National Assembly that is sponsoring terrorism, as claimed in paragraph 33 of his independence speech.
According to Igbakpa, “as reported by media houses across the world, President Buhari in his independence day speech told the world that one of us is sponsoring terrorism. Considering that IPOB by what it is to the face of the law today is a terrorist organization even when we have our reservations because the laws of the land and courts have spoken.”
Furthermore, the lawmaker said: “Mr. Speaker, that means that 469 members of this National Assembly are crime suspects. On that fateful day, I went to Akure, to be part of the burial ceremony of our fellow colleague, Hon. Expensive. On Saturday I had to honour an invitation to Ghana for a wedding, Mr. Speaker, it will amaze you what I faced in the hands of Ghanaian officials.
“They detained me for about four hours that they are trying to confirm something, I stayed at the airport for four hours. I missed the wedding I went for and at the end of the day one of them walked up to me saying sorry sir there’s an announcement in Nigeria that a Member of Parliament is sponsoring terrorism. So we are put on red alert to ensure that no Member of Parliament comes here to hide or cause trouble.”
Additionally, the lawmaker said that “I had to come back home dejected. They have been calling me all over the world. My friends have been telling me, who among you is that person is sponsoring terrorism. The right thing for a father to do is to name and shame any child bringing about division. But Mr. President didn’t shame that person or name them instead, he named 469 members.”
It would appear the President’s speech on a lawmaker financing agitations has put a target on all lawmakers, he concluded, stressing: “All of us here are prime suspects. So I appeal that the leadership of the House should liaise with their counterparts in the Senate to try and see the President so that he can inform us who’s sponsoring terrorism amongst us”.
Meanwhile, the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, in his response, assured that the motion of privilege was “noted and we will get back to you on that.”