House Suspends Probes, Committee Sittings until Resumption


Udora Orizu in Abuja

The House of Representatives has suspended all investigations, public hearings and committee meetings as well as activities of standing and ad hoc committees until the lawmakers are back from recess and resume plenary in September.

This is coming on the heels of the investigation of the House Committee on Treaties, Agreements and Protocols of the review and implementation programme of all existing bilateral loan agreements between Nigeria and the Chinese Export-Import Bank, among other committee investigations.

The suspension of all House activities was contained in a letter dated August 19, 2020, which was signed by the House Leader, Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa, and addressed to all committees, ordering a stop to all activities.

In the letter titled: ‘Notice of suspension of activities, meetings, public hearings and all engagements of the standing and ad hoc committees’, with reference number NASS9HR/OLDR/ADM/Vol. 1. 0031, Doguwa urged the clerk of the House to ensure compliance.

The letter read in part: “The leadership of the House of Representatives has recently met and resolved that henceforth, all activities of standing and ad hoc committees be put on hold while the House is on its annual recess.

“Accordingly, all standing and ad hoc committees are hereby directed to suspend with immediate effect all committee meetings, public hearings and other engagements until the House resumes plenary.’’

Recall that apart from the probe into Chinese loans for the execution of railway projects in the country, the House Committee on Finance is reviewing the 2021 to 2023 medium term expenditure framework (MTEF) and the Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) and the investigation of N300 billion unremitted funds to the federal account by various ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).

Similarly, the House Public Accounts Committee led by Hon. Wole Oke has been investigating MDAs over queries raised by the Accountant General of the Federation.

Last Wednesday, the Treaties, Agreements and Protocols Committee led by Hon. Ossai Ossai summoned the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation Mallam Abubakar Malami and the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, to appear before it next Tuesday over the Chinese loans.