• Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Reps propose N500,000 fine, two years jail term for defaulters of summons in new Bill

Femi Gbajabiamila

The House of Representatives has proposed N500,000 fine or two years imprisonment or both for anyone who fails to honour the summon of the legislature.

The proposals are contained in a new legislation titled: ‘Bill for an Act to Alter the Provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), and for Related Matters (HB. 511)’.

Sponsored by the Speaker, Femi Gbajabimila and the Chairman, Rules and Business, Abubakar Fulata, the Bill which passed second reading during plenary on Wednesday seeks to amend Section 89 of Constitution which states that the anybody who is summoned by the parliament and refuses to appear would be issued a warrant of arrest and be compelled to appear.

Leading debate on the Bill the co-sponsor, Fulata said the bill seeks to alter the provision and state that anyone who refuses or ignores the summon of parliament shall be upon conviction guilty of contempt and shall be liable to a fine of N500,000 or two years imprisonment or both.

Ruling, the Speaker, Gbajabiamila referred the bill to the Special House Committee on Constitutional Review for further legislative actions.

When passed into law, the amendment would address the situation where Ministers, Heads of Ministries, Agencies and Departments (MDAs) often fail to appear before parliament to either for investigations or budget defence.