The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said on Saturday the decision of the House of Representatives leadership to send on compulsory vacation, the various House committees probing corruption allegations in Federal Government’s agencies was a deliberate plot to cover the stench of corruption “oozing out of the current administration.”
In a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party urged the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, to stop circumventing the statutory duties of the House and placing hurdles in the way of the parliament’s anti-graft crusade.
The PDP described the shutdown of the House by the leadership as a clear example of corruption fighting back from within the government and urged Nigerians to condemn it.
The House leadership had on Thursday suspended all public hearings and committee sittings till September 15 when the lawmakers will return from their annual vacation.
The statement read: “The party notes that such incursion into the activities of the committees is to quench the fight against corruption as well as to frustrate whistleblowers just because APC has become an ocean of corruption where the members are swimming.
“It is clear that the shutdown directive is targeted at frustrating revelations from ongoing investigations on the $500 billion foreign loan from China, particularly as it relates to the mortgaging of our nation’s sovereignty to China.
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“This is in addition to the investigations into the humongous corruption in government agencies including the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), the N300 billion unremitted revenue to the federation account as well as allegations of corruption in government earnings and the expenditure in Ministries, Department, and Agencies (MDAs) under the APC.
“It is, therefore, unfortunate that under the Gbajabiamila-led leadership, the basic responsibility of the House of Representatives, which is its oversight on the executive, has just been maimed through a forced holiday on the members of the respective committees and their chairmen.
“It is equally distressing that the APC leadership of the House of Representatives is breaching parliamentary rules, practices and procedures to shield APC leaders and their cronies who have been fleecing our nation.
“Our party, therefore, holds that any parliament that deliberately frustrates its statutory responsibility to call the activities of the executive to question has lost the essence of its own existence. The leadership that led it into such constitutional suicide must be held culpable.
“Indeed, never in our parliamentary history has committee activities been suspended or shut down on the ground of holiday or suspension of plenary.
“The PDP, therefore, charges the Hon. Gbajabiamila-led APC leadership of the House of Representatives to immediately reverse itself as Nigerians expect nothing but seamless investigations without unnecessary interferences and incursions.
“If the Honourable Speaker is inclined towards allowing the covering of corruption, against the purpose for which he was elected to lead the House, then, he should take a bow and step aside.”
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