The Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Alhassan Ado Doguwa has charged the Peoples’ Democratic Party to always do their homework effectively before making any attempt to berate the House.
The Leader was responding to an allegation leveled against the All Progressives Congress (APC) by the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) for the suspension of sittings of various committees for the observance of annual recess by the House.
Reminding them that, “committees do not sit during annual summer recess. The judiciary is on recess and other than one or two courts open for administrative purposes all the courts are locked up and posed to continue cases (including corruption cases) only upon their resumption.
“It is ridiculous to discover that the PDP, a supposedly major opposition party in the country, does not know the workings of the National Assembly, let alone knowing where the constitution or house procedures have been breached.
“It is worthy of note also, that it has never been the practice or tradition of the House to continue with indoor Committee engagements while on annual recess as it’s obtainable in the developed democracies like the US, who right now are enjoying their summer recess.
“Especially now that we are being faced with a global health emergency occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The Majority Leader while responding to another allegation made by the PDP on the $500 billion China Loan in its statement said, “it was either a deliberate misrepresentation of facts or utter ignorance of the legislative duties and procedures by an apparently confused opposition.
“It is pertinent to know that the loan has already been approved by the National Assembly through a transparent and formal request.
“The government has also captured it in the 2020 Appropriation law and therefore, should not be a subject of any controversy or query in the committee’s investigation process at least for now.
“And as a matter of norm and procedure, the House can only wait until disbursements and utilisation commence before embarking on oversight implementation.”
Doguwa insisted that investigations into government agencies including Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust (NSITF), the review of the Nigerian Power Sector as well as all other allegations of corruption in government expenditure, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s), have not in any way been discontinued as alleged by the PDP.
According to him, all the pending investigations will continue as the House reconvenes.
“If it will be of interest to the PDP, the investigations the House is currently undertaking including the Chinese loans cover the sixteen years the PDP was in power and when most of the loans were obtained.
“So, maybe they should be thanking the House leadership for covering up their misdeeds.
“The House under the vibrant and responsive leadership of Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila would remain focused, committed and well-guided in safeguarding our institutional integrity, without necessarily jeopardising our good working relationship with the Buhari led popular government.” Doguwa noted.
“The PDP lacks the moral standing to accuse the leadership of the House for abetting corruption or protecting questionable officials from the ongoing investigation.
“For us in the APC, fighting the menace of corruption by prosecuting corrupt individuals has been the cardinal objective of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
“Therefore, to vindicate the administration and leadership of the House, for the first time in history, many high-profile individuals including former ministers, former governors and public office holders have been prosecuted and convicted without prejudice or unnecessary reflection on party affiliation.” The Majority Leader added.