• Monday, May 27, 2024
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Reps in rowdy session over $20,000 bribery scandal


The House of Representatives witnessed another rowdy session on Wednesday as Aliyu Madaki (APC-Kano) openly confronted members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for allegedly collecting $20,000 to stall the motion on the $9.3 million confiscated by the South African authorities.

Madaki, who affirmed this while reacting to media reports credited to him, however, noted that the PDP lawmakers received $20,000 instead of $50,000 widely reported.
In a swift reaction, the aggrieved PDP members demanded that Madaki should name those who collected the money.

Speaking earlier, Albert Sam-Tsokwa, chairman, House Committee on Rules and Business, who raised the matter under order 8, rule 20 of the House, denied knowledge about the alleged bribery scandal.

The lawmaker, who called for redress, noted that the newspaper reports breached his privilege as a member of the House.

“As the House chairman of the rules and business committee, this issue is not to my knowledge. No money was received by any member of my party or me.

“We are all aware that infrastructure motion can be raised, seconded and voted upon. This is not the first time issues like this have been brought to the floor of the House and rejected,” he said.

Sam-Tsokwa, who expressed dismay over the protest staged by the opposition members, however, urged the House to probe the allegation by referring the matter to the ethics and privileges committee.

While ruling on the motion, Emeka Ihedioha, deputy speaker, who presided, noted that the House is witnessing hard times.

“We should be careful as circumstances like this could lead to casualty. It is not my wish that such should happen. It is regrettable that despite the fact that I bent over to take the motion, there was still a walk-out,” he said.

In line with the House rules, the deputy speaker referred the motion to the House committee on ethics and privileges and it is to report back to the House within two weeks.

Meanwhile, the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has called on members of the National Assembly to jettison party affiliations and unite to thoroughly investigate the reported case of Nigeria’s $9.3 million cash in the custody of the South African authorities.

The congress in a statement signed by Bobboi Kagaima and Musa Lawal, president and secretary general, respectively, said rather than uncalled-for squabbles being witnessed on the floor of the House of Representatives, “what Nigerians expect is thorough investigation into the matter especially as the money is believed to have been taken out of this country without due process.”