Abuja – Outgoing Speaker of the House of Representatives Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, may be removed from office ahead of the inauguration of the 10th Assembly for doctoring the House standing rules to favour his stooges as Speaker and Deputy.
Already, over 100 aggrieved members of the House have signed a notice of impeachment to be served on the Speaker at the resumption of plenary Tuesday Morning.
Tuesday’s session promises to be hot as members have vowed to raise the issue on the floor of the House for immediate retraction of the rigged and doctored document.
The doctored standing rules, refered to as the 10th edition cited by our correspondents, has a new , strange and obnoxious provision for electing the Speaker and Deputy through an open ballot instead of the existing rule of secret ballot that has been in use since 1999.
Section 2 (f) (iii) of the controversial clause captioned “election of presiding officers” stated that, ” every member voting shall name clearly and in the open the candidate of his choice.”
Speaking to our correspondent, a principal officer of the House said: “Yes, i can confirm that an alteration has been done and the document has been printed. But i want to tell you that even as a principal officer in the House I am not aware of this. No such amendment has been officially carried by the House.”
Another member said: “This is a strange departure from our traditional procedure of electing presiding officers in the House which has always produced Speakers and Deputy Speakers through secret ballot system. We have never discuss the issue of amending our rules in this repected in the last four years it must be the gand work of somebody who is trying to be faster than the House. I assure you we will get to the root of the matter immediately so as to save the House from any embarrassment.
Gbajabiamila is being accused by his colleagues of single-handedly manipulating the rules of the House to edge out more credible aspirants in favour of his preferred candidate Hon Abbas Tajudden who is unpopular with members.
Investigation by our reporter reveals that Gbajabiamila believed that this is the only way by which he can impose his candidate on members as Speaker of the 10th House of Representatives.
“The goal is to create fear in members and open them up for victimisation by the new government and the ruling All Progressives Congresse (APC) which is believed to have been zoned to the North West Geo-Politocal zone ostensibly to pave way for the emergence of Abbas Tajuddeen. It is aimed at creating an impression of disloyalty againts members who choose to vote their conscience as against the instruction of the ruling party. This is brazen and reckless by whoever choose to do it. “
“It is a slap on the faces of Hon members and an embarrabsment to the nstitution of the legislature. We will insist that Gbajabiamila should step aside for proper investigation to be carried out on how the rules were doctored. Where is the votes and proceedings of the session and the order paper of the day that the amendment was carries out.
The House will have a Speaker Pro-Tempo who will preside over this investigation until the issue is unearthed.
It is unbelievable that our rules will be altered without recourse to the procedures. As I speak to you even the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives who chairs consideration of reports is not aware of this amendment. This is a serious breach and an unpardonable democratic offence. It is unfortunate that this is coming few weeks to the end of Gbajabiamila’s tenure just because he wants to be controlling the House of Representatives after his tenure.
The chairman of the House Committee on Rules and Business and the Deputy Speaker of the House will be asked to explain their roles in this unfortunate and devastating development.
“It is equally instructive to note that whether Gbajabiamila is aware of it or not a serious branched has been established under his leadership which he must give account of.”