House Probes ‘Parallel’ Minority Leadership

A cross section of members during plenary

Adedayo Akinwale ín Abuja

The House of Representatives has ordered a probe into the allegation that Hon. Kingsely Chinda and three other members are parading themselves as Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus leaders in the House.

The decision was taken wednesday at the plenary presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Ibrahim Wase, following the alleged breach of legislative privilege by Chinda, Umar Barde, Chukwuma Onyema and Muraina Ajibola, raised on the floor by Hon. Ben Igbakpa.

He said that Section 60 of the 1999 Constitution as amended provides the House the power to regulate its own procedure, adding that it is supported by Order 1(1) and (2) of the Standing Orders of the House.

Igbakpa said it was a common knowledge that on July 3, 2019, the Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, in line with Order 7 Rule 8 of the Standing Orders of the House, which empowers the minority parties to nominate their leaders, announced the Minority Leaders of the House.
This, he said, was consequently published in the Votes and Proceedings of the same date.

Igbakpa said, “In spite of this Mr. Speaker, some members of this House – Hon. Kingsley Chinda; Hon. Chukwuma Onyema; Hon. Umar Barde; and Hon. Muraina Ajibola, parading themselves as PDP Caucus Leader, Deputy Caucus Leader, Minority Whip and Deputy Minority Whip respectively, 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.”

He stressed that their actions violates Section 24, Legislative Houses (Powers and Privileges) Act, Cap L.12, 2004 as well extant provisions of the Standing Orders of this House.

Igbakpa therefore called on the House to investigate and bring the perpetrators to book.

The speaker however directed the Committee on Ethics and Privileges to investigate the matter.