By Adekunle Adeniyi/TnTv Network
The Nigeria opposition coalition (CUPP) describes the purported investigation of the party’s Spokesperson, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere by a Committee of the House set up by the Speaker, House of Representative, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as an attempt to harass and intimidate the Nigerian opposition since the opposition has put its act together and has been putting the government on its toes.
The CUPP Chairman, Kenneth Udeze declared this at a press briefing in Abuja on Wednesday, holding the government accountable and Speaker Gbajabiamila is clearly not comfortable with that, saying the attempt to suppress the opposition and muscle it out of the Nigerian media space will fail.
Udeze said; “The events at the farce hearing on Monday, 18th May 2020 was a clear attempt to intimidate the opposition and the media and ensure they only publish pro public news. The military attempted this and failed. Speaker Gbajabiamila who obviously would have boasted to his masters that he would succeed to take out the opposition from the media space will fail in this agenda and fall like a pack of cards.
We have reviewed the statements by our Spokesperson including all his press statements and press conferences and we declare that they were all in line with international best practices expected by the opposition and we pass a vote of confidence on our National spokesperson Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere. He has held our flag flying high and he will keep doing that no matter the amount of coordinated attacks from the likes of Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila.
The exposition of the very shady, ugly and shameful past of Speaker Gbajabiamila in the US by our spokesperson is obviously one of the reasons why the Speaker has resorted to this misguided action of using the institution of the House to pursue his personal, narrow, selfish and undemocratic course.
If allegations were made against the Speaker directly, on what moral and statutory grounds does he has stood to constitute a Committee to investigate him? Was the speaker not ashamed of himself when the Committee announced to a shocked audience at the hearing that they had already taken his evidence in private without any person including his adversary being notified of the seating or even availed the opportunity of being present?
Was Speaker Gbajabiamila not worried by the fact that against all statutory and judicial authorities including the very rules of the House over which he presides that the Chairman of the Committee insisted on sitting even when the subject matter of the sitting was already being determined by a court of competent jurisdiction? Or does the Speaker who prides as a lawyer not understand the doctrine of lis pendis?
Was Speaker Gbajabiamila not shocked that the Committee conducted a guided hearing on 18th May moving like a taxi that had been told by the passenger where he was headed and they were moving with precision to indict Ikenga and decapitate the opposition? Has he also never read the provisions of Order 9 Rule 5 of the House Rules? What else has he not read that he should have read?
It has become manifest that speaker Femi Gbajabiamila in his blind rage against the Nigerian opposition and the opposition Spokesperson is now ready and willing to lead the House down the path of lawlessness. Otherwise, how could the Speaker so flagrantly violate the rule of natural justice and wants to be a judge in his own case? Speaker Gbajabiamila should note that it is time to stop his grandstanding and stop using the Honourable House for his personal preservation”
He however called upon the Speaker, Gbajabiamila is hereby to step aside along with his Deputy who he described as a co accuser of the CUPP for a neutral person to preside and set up a Committee and he would see how the truth of his activities in the sponsorship of the Infectious Diseases Bill 2020 would be shown to the world.
Speaking further, the Chairman said;
“We have also commenced consultation with the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party over the activities of some of its members who are willing tools in the hand of the Speaker and the ruling APC to be doing their hatchet job. Would it not have been the role of an opposition member to ensure that the Constitution and all other extant laws are obeyed by institutions of state?
How disappointed are we that an opposition lawmaker in the person of Hon. Henry Nwawuba is the one driving the vehicle on this ill-fated journey to shame? Even after he was duly informed that the matter he was investigating was subject of a judicial process, he continued, adjourned and insisted on using all his powers to secure the attendance of our Spokesperson to his illegal sitting. We never knew Hon. Henry Nwawuba is now the Nigerian Supreme Court that has the final adjudicatory powers in the country. We hope the moles in PDP will be identified through this process and appropriate punishment meted out to them.
Let it be made clear to Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila that the Nigerian opposition will not indulge him neither are we ready to massage his ego. We will also not encourage nor support his desecrating the House of Representatives any further. Thereby, our Spokesman Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere will not be attending the illegal, unconstitutional and contemptuous sitting of his undemocratic Committee led by Hon. Henry Nwawuba.
Our legal representatives will be sent again to remind him of a pendency of a suit at the Federal High Court on the subject matter of his sitting wherein the clerk of the House of Representatives has been served, the Clerk of the National Assembly has been served and other relevant parties. They will also remind him that by the Rules of the House he should not continue sitting but where he insists on going on they have also been instructed to inform him that they would proceed against him in contempt. This attempt at naked show of power will end like those before him. Speaker Gbajabiamila whose private Committee refused to grant any audience whatsoever to the legal representative of our Spokesperson was the same person who did not attend Court but sent legal representatives when the opposition secured criminal summons against him from a court of competent jurisdiction on allegations of pilfering money belonging to his client in the USA. He is the same man whose committee says they will not listen to any legal representative. Nigerians have clearly seen the undemocratic tendencies of the Speaker and his inclination to lawlessness. But this will not last we assure you.