By Bukola Kayode
Crisis is brewing in the House of Representatives over a renewed push by some agreived lawmakers for former contestant for the position of Minority Leader, Rep. Kingsley Chinda and some members of his group to be suspended.
Frontline News Online gathered on Saturday, that other key players in Chinda’s group, Rep. Chukwuma Onyema, Rep. Ajibola Muraino and Rep. Yakubu Barde may also a share the same fate with him, if Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila succumbs to pressure to suspend this group of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) reps, who lost out to current leadership of the opposition led by Rep. Ndudi Elumelu.
Speculation on the planned suspension of Chinda’s faction of the PDP in the House comed on the heels of the conclusion of investigation by the House committee on Ethics and Privileges.
Recall that the House mandated the committee chaired by Rep. Kolawole Lawal to invest the said lawmakers for parading as leaders the People’s Democratic Party caucus.
The decision to investigate Chinda’s group followed the adoption of a motion by Rep. Ben Igbakpa, who alleged that the quartet were
falsely parading themselves as leaders of the minority caucus, thus violating the standing rules of the House.
Prior to the decision, Chinda and members of his group had co-signed three statements as the Party caucus leaders. Members of this group also participated in the protest to the U.S. and UK embassies during the week.
Sources disclosed to Frontline News that the Ethics and Privileges Committee is ready with its report which contains a recommendation the legislators be suspended.
Sources also say that Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila has come under intense pressure by interested parties which allegedly includes some governors to suspend the lawmakers.
“The committee on Ethics and Privileges has already come up with its report and as most of us predicted from the day Hon. Igbakpa brought that motion calling for an investigation, we knew the aim was to suspend Chinda
and that is exactly what the committee is recommending. All that is left to be done is for the committee chairman to lay the report and for the House to
consider and adopt it”.
On whether the speaker has the powers to determine the Leader of a party in the House, he said, “I’m not sure. This is probably the first time this sort of thing will happen.
“While the speaker may not have startes it, it is now beyond him. He is now being pressured to suspend them. They are only pushing the Speaker to champion a battle that is not his. The Party, PDP, can’t do anything because the governors are divided and some of them are even pressuring Femi to suspend them (Chinda and others)”, the source said.
Another lawmaker who spoke on the condition of anonymity, expressed worry suspending the PDP lawmakers could create problems.
He said: “This ugly development if allowed to sail through will heat up the body polity and create the impression that there’s more than meets the eyes on this issue.
“The situation is getting uglier. I heard that they are seeking their suspension and I don’t understand for what. The party in question has come out to state that it gave authority to head its caucus in the House, why does the speaker or anyone for that matter have a problem with that? The suspension simply shows there’s probably more to the whole issue than meets the eye”.
The Ethics and Privileges committee is expected to lay the report in the coming weeks.
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