Reps ask Buhari to name NASS member sponsoring terrorism
‘’ask Presidency to prosecute the lawmaker
…mandate Speaker to meet President Buhari
…I was detained for 4 hours at Ghana airport – Hon. Igbakpa
…says NASS members placed on red alert
The House of Representatives on Tuesday asked President Muhammdu Buhari to demonstrate sufficient political will by making public the identity of the National Assembly member alleged sponsoring terrorism.
The resolution was passed sequel to the adoption of a motion of Privilege sponsored by Hon. Ben Igbakpa, who expressed grave concern over the weighty allegation against a serving member of the 9th Assembly by Mr. President.
Rising under 6 Rule 2 of the House Standing Order, Hon. 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.
The lawmaker who called for the House intervention, specifically expressed displeasure over the gravity of the allegation leveled against the Legislative arm of government by the head of the Executive Arm of government.
While noting that under the principle of separation of powers, no arm of government is superior to the other, Hon. Igbakpa underscored the need for the House leadership to meet with its Senate counterpart with a view to interface with Mr. President to name the serving member of the National Assembly that is sponsoring terrorism as he claimed in paragraph 33 of his nationwide broadcast to Nigerian and the world on the occasion of the 61st Independence of Nigeria on the 1st October, 2021.
The House also urged President Buhari to immediately “commence the prosecution of the individual and if convicted should have been completely shame.”
While narrating his ordeal at the Ghana airport, Hon. Igbakpa said: “As reported by media house across the world, President Buhari in his Independence Day speech, told the world that one of us is sponsoring terrorism. IPOB by what it’s 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.
“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 honor 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, 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 and we are put on red alert to ensure that no member of Parliament comes here to hide or cause trouble.
“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 that’s bringing about division. But Mr. President didn’t shame that person or name them instead he named 469 members.
“Because of the fact that we’ve always cooperated and the fact that Nigeria has a lot to deal with, so I’m appealing, if not the right thing to do is to invoke section 28 of the constitution they can tell us who among us is sponsoring terrorism.
“All of us here are prime suspects. 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 us who’s sponsoring terrorism amongst us.
“The President should also go ahead and prosecute and convict that person,” Hon. Igbakpa urged.
Worried by the development, some members who signified interest in contributing to the motion, were not allowed to make input as it was brought under ‘Privilege’.
In his response, the Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila who presided over the plenary, assured that the motion of privilege was “noted and we will get back to you on that.”