The politics of independent report submission in National Assembly

The politics of independent report submission in National Assembly

By Morgan Omodu

The Legislative arm of government has her constitutional duty as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic. Of most significant to this write up is the over sight functions exercised over the MDA’S, Parastatals and Agencies of Government. While we all agree of the need to raise the task, the journey so far, no doubt calls for concern.

Institutionally, members of parliament do carry out probe panel to enable them ask fundamental questions as it relates to how they expended their budgetary allocations and ask for details around some policies and activities of government that seems shrewd in secrecy once it involves public funds. This process usually allows members of the public to participate in the public hearing activities as inputs and memorandums is usually been entertained from them on the subject under discussion which Is majorly been directed and approved during plenary.

Most public hearings are geared towards exposing the wrong deals and lack of due process which informs why the debate do come up on the floor of the house or the senate during plenary. There is no doubt that most of the public hearings done since 1999 has been able to deepen democracy as it provided avenue to ask questions and get to the root of the matter under question. Of strategic was the one that discovered unspent funds and unremitted funds under former Speaker Dimeji Bankole. The Public hearing discovered how billions of our resources is not been remitted to national covers and how unspent budgetary allocations is been shared by big wigs. Huge funds spent on Power generation without commiserate result was also discovered among all other things. It doesn’t mean that with this good report, there was no negative voice, but the needful was still done even though nobody was eventually punished by the anti-graft agencies.

Public hearings are being carried out by either adhoc committee set up or statutory committee relevant to the issue under discussion. The committee is expected to submit report after the public hearing to plenary after which it will be debated by the committee of the whole for adoption or rejection. It is during this process that we do have controversy as we have record of independent submission of reports which is usually aim to derail the entire process and make mockery of the public hearing. Similar case occurred at the submission of the then Hon.  Elumelu report of the popular Power probe then.

The politics of independent report is not new, we thus need to holistically consider it and call on the defiant members to stop wasting the time of the parliament and the entire committee. The recent one that is mind bugling is the one done and submitted by Hon. Linus Okorie who incidentally is a representative member from the constituency of former Secretary to the Government of the Federation Ayin Pius Ayim. We all remembered vividly the public hearing that was conducted by the House committee of FCT under the Chairmanship of Rt. Hon. Herman Hembe on the centenary city project that was initiated by the last regime. The entire committee recommended that due process and laid down rule signed by the former President was not dully followed as the land swap model was not used, and that a company of N20,000 share capital owned by two persons was awarded the entire project. The role played by the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation was also exposed as the entire process was supervised by him which run contrary to the signed memo obtained before the project was approved. This and many more was discovered during the public hearing. The committee went ahead to write her report and it was laid on the floor of the house with the recommendations debated and approved by the committee of the whole. The significant recommendation of the committee is that for flaunting the laid down rule and procedure, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission should invite and investigate the roles played by the then Secretary to the Government of the Federation in the entire project, and the project should be stop and put an end to because of the shabby way it was handled. This has since attracted several commentators, even though there was little drama by the former SGF, he couldn’t substantiate his claims against the Chairman of the committee. What is playing out is the planned media attack on the personality of the Chairman, even though he could not be hold for any wrong doing. This is also being followed by severe attempt to rubbish the process and make mockery of it. It is pitiful that a member that is expected to discharge his duties without compromise was seen taken side with the SGF and interestingly he is the member from same constituent as the former SGF. This informs the independent report submitted. The question to ask is, whose interest is that independent report supporting? Why is this member head bent in rubbishing the entire house and make them incompetent despite the thorough public hearing done that has all the key players in attendance?

This is no doubt this is a litmus test for the entire House of Representatives as the Hon. Herman Hembe led committee has done justice to the issue by bringing out the secrecy behind the centenary project with all the actors now known, one thus expect the House of Representatives under Speaker Dogara to ensure the report is not swept under the carpet and justice must be done. There should not be any agenda to water down the recommendations of the report, and if need be sanction the earing member with independent report, as the question to ask him is who among the members of the committee cosigned it with him and under whose mandate did he acted.

This is also one of those period that one will expect civil society groups to rise to occasion and call for implementation of this report. Nobody should be seen to be above the law. The wrongs of the past must be corrected and those involved make to answer questions. It is now time to form synergy with members of the parliament by dusting those submitted reports with view of starting advocacy around it and make relevant body act accordingly.

I will also use this medium to call on Executive arm and especially the anti-graft agencies to be up and doing by ensuring that the report among others is acted upon. By this, those negatively affected by such bad policies will see justice been done.

Morgan Omodu is Political Secretary to former Speaker Dimeji Bankole.

Nigerian Online Newspaper=


follow us on twitter @aljazirahnewsng
Like us on Facebook @aljazirahnewsng

Share This:

Related Posts

‘Buhari Administration Getting More Corrupt’ ... Corruption is getting worse in Nigeria, according to the latest corruption perception index (CPI) released by Transparency International (TI) on Wednesday. While the country scored 27/100 and was ranked 136th in 2016, the latest CPI scores Nigeria 28/100 but with a rank of No. 148 out of 180 coun...
Buhari Reiterates Zero Tolerance For Corruption In Oil Secto... Corruption in Nigeria's oil and gas industry must not be tolerated in any form, President Muhammadu Buhari said on Monday. Buhari told local and foreign oil industry stakeholders in Abuja that his adminstration  will not stop the fight until a new image is created where transparency will be the w...
Panic As Fire Breaks Out At National Assembly There has been pandemonium at the technical room of the National Assembly’s Senate wing due to fire outbreak. Staff and other workers were seen leaving their offices to avoid being trapped as smoke fills up the walkways. Senators were not left out as those who were sitting in the in the galler...
‘NASS Will Not Allow Concession Of National AssetsR... The Speaker of House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, says the National Assembly will not allow concession of any national economic assets. Dogara said this on Monday in Ajaokuta, Kogi, after a facility tour of Ajaokuta Steel Complex in company with the state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello. He...
NHIS boss: SANs accuse Buhari of promoting corruption, impun... Three Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Mike Ozekhome, Yusuf Ali and Ifedayo Adedipe, have criticised President Muhammadu Buhari for reinstating the hitherto suspended Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Prof. Usman Yusuf. The PUNCH had reported on Wednesday that the President...
Dogara Mourns Late NASS Correspondent The Speaker of the House of Reprepresentatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara was at the House of Rep.Press Corps centre yesterday to pay condolences to the members of the Corps over the death of our colleague, Mr. Otei Oham of Guardian Newspapers. Mr. Otei died on Saturday after a protracted illness. Hon. D...
SEX, CRONYISM, CORRUPTION: THE JANUS-FACED DEVELOPMENT PRACT... By Chima Amadi Ancient Roman mythology, like the earlier Greek and Egyptian myths, is replete with the heroics and evil actions of a pantheon of gods. A scrutiny of the deities reveals either mimicry or near similar attributes of the characters of the gods running through the three civilisations....
UNDERCOVER INVESTIGATION: Bribery, Corruption — How NAFDAC o... For two weeks, Gbenga Odunsi of AljazirahNigeria visited the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC to ascertain whether the corruption story making the rounds on social media is true or false. His findings evinced that corruption is not only the cankerworm rocking NAFD...
BREAKING- False asset charges: CCT acquits, discharges Sarak... Senate President, Bukola Saraki has been acquitted and discharged by the Code of Conduct Tribunal headed by Justice Danladi Umar, Aljazirah Nigeria has gathered. The CCT let off Bukola Saraki, who has been standing trial over allegations of false assets declaration. The trial had caught public...
DasukiGate: Fani-Kayode stalls own trial The trial of the Former Minister of Aviation Femi Fani-Kayode has been stalled due to the absence of his lawyer Ahmed Raji SAN. Fani-Kayode was arraigned on five charges involving alleged diversion of N26million which he allegedly received from the then National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasu...
N’Assembly members to buy N50m Abuja flats Members of the National Assembly are currently subscribing to a mortgage facility that will make each lawmaker cough out N2.5m every month, SUNDAY PUNCH has reliably learnt. It was gathered that the lawmakers are buying flats in an estate close to Apo Legislative Quarters in Abuja at N50m each, w...
Saraki debunks claim that each senator receives N192m as run... Senate President, Dr.  Bukola Saraki has said that the senate will soon release the actual breakdown of what a senator actually earns as salaries and allowances per annum. Dr. Saraki also refuted claims by popular commentaries that the legislature earns stupendous amounts as salaries and allowances...
El-Rufai releases another explosive statement, attacks NASS Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state has attacked the National Assembly for operating public fund in secrecy. In a statement signed by Samuel Aruwan, Special Assistant to the Governor (Media and Publicity) on Thursday described NASS system as a money sharing institution. He said the the fig...