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Reps halt financial contribution to Lake Chad Basin Commission

The House of Representatives on Thursday directed the immediate suspension of Nigeria’s financial contributions to the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC).

Similarly, the House also resolved to issue zero allocation to the Commission, sequel to the disregard to the directive issued by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Lower Chamber’s resolution.

To this end, Speaker Yakubu Dogara mandated relevant Committees including Appropriations and Finance to ensure no fund is allocated to the agency in the 2018 Appropriation bill.

The resolution was passed sequel to the adoption of a motion under matter of urgent national importance sponsored by Chika Adamu (APC-Niger).

In his lead debate, Adamu expressed the need to urgently checkmate the excesses of Sanusi Abdullahi, LCBC Executive Secretary over alleged affront against the resolution of House passed on the 9th November, 2016 to probe into allegations of mismanagement of fund in the commission.

He disclosed that the LCBC Executive Secretary whose tenure expired in May 2017, has over the past one year refused to honour the invitations of the Committee, thereby stalling the probe into his activities.

Other lawmakers who spoke in favour of the motion include: Bashir Babale (APC-Kano), Gabriel Onyewife (APGA-Anambra), Hassan Saleh (APC-Benue) faulted the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ position that the Executive Secretary enjoys immunity.

While speaking, Gabriel Onyewife, observed that there was no exception to the category of persons that can be summoned by the House and indeed the National Assembly, according to section 89 of the constitution (as amended) which outlined the powers granted to the House to summon anybody.

Innhis remarks, Hassan Saleh (APC-Benue) decried the disregard for constituted authority, stressed the need for the House to take drastic action to checkmate the activities of heads of MDAs in the bid to serve as deterrent to others.

He further noted that two days after President Buhari directed the Inspector General of Police to relocate to Benue State to quell the farmers/herdsmen crisis, he (IGP) organised birthday party in Abuja.

While ruling, Speaker Yakubu Dogara who expressed disgust of the position of the Minister that the person under investigation was protected by immunity, mandated all the relevant Committees to ensure that no dime is provided to the agency, until the agency complies with the resolution of the House and indeed the President.

The House also mandated Federal Ministry of Water Resources to issue a letter mandating Sanusi Abdullahi, to handover to newly appointed head of the Commission with immediate effect.

 
KEHINDE AKINTOLA, Abuja

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