Reps minority leadership: 4 PDP lawmakers to face disciplinary committee

The House of Representatives on Wednesday referred four members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus in the House to the Ethics and Privileges Committee over an alleged “gross abuse of collective and individual privileges” of members.

This followed the adoption of a motion on “Breach of Legislative Privilege”, sponsored by Honourable Ben Igbakpa, who accused the four lawmakers of breaching section 60 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which empowers the House to regulate its own procedure as well as House Standing Order 1 (1 & 2).

Going by the resolution passed by the House during the Wednesday plenary session which was presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Honourable Idris Wase, the affected lawmakers, namely Kingsley Chinda, Chukwuma Onyema, Umar Barde and Muraina Ajibola ,are to appear, before the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges to explain their roles in the allegations.

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In his lead debate, Igbakpa said: “It is common knowledge that on July 3, 2019, the Honourable Speaker, in line with Order 7, Rule 8 of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives (which empowers the minority parties to nominate their leaders), announced the minority leaders of the house. This was consequently published in the votes and proceedings of the same date.

“In spite of this, Mr Speaker, some members of this House, Honourable Kingsley Chinda, Honourable Chukwuma Onyema, Honourable Umar Barde and Honourable Muraina Ajibola, parading themselves as PDP caucus leader, deputy caucus leader, minority whip and deputy minority whip have been issuing public statements outside the nomenclature of this House; misleading the general public and causing confusion and disaffection in the House of Representatives, “This is a gross abuse of our collective and individual privileges.”

According to him, the action of the four lawmakers “violates Section 24, Legislative Houses (Powers and Privileges) Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 as well as extant provisions of the Standing Orders of this House.”

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