PDP chides Reps for halting probes

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has chided the leadership of the House of Representatives for halting the ongoing probes into alleged corruption in a number of federal government agencies.

According to the main opposition party, the decision by the House to halt the probes that were being carried out by its various committees was a deliberate design to cover the “stench of corruption” oozing out of the administration.

The PDP, in a statement on Saturday by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, charged the Speaker of the House of Representative, Femi Gbajabiamila, to stop circumventing the statutory duties of the House and to stop pacing wedges in the way of the fight against corruption by the legislature.

The party described the shutdown order by the leadership of the House as a clear example of corruption fighting back from within the government circle, which it said, must be condemned by all Nigerians.

The PDP noted that such incursion into the activities of the committees was to quench the fight against corruption as well as to frustrate whistleblowers because the administration has become an ocean of corruption where members are swimming.

The statement said, “It is clear that the shutdown directive is targeted at frustrating revelations from ongoing investigations on the $500 billion foreign loan from China, particularly as it relates to the mortgaging of our nation’s sovereignty to China.

“This is in addition to the investigations into the humongous corruption in government agencies including the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) the N300 billion unremitted revenue to the federation account as well as allegations of corruption in government earnings and the expenditure in Ministries, Department, and Agencies (MDA’s) under the APC.

“It is therefore unfortunate that under the Gbajabiamila-led leadership, the basic responsibility of the House of Representatives, which is its oversight on the executive, has just been maimed through a forced holiday on the members of the respective committees and their Chairmen.

“It is equally distressing that the APC leadership of the House of Representatives is breaching parliamentary rules, practices, and procedures to shield APC leaders and their cronies who have been fleecing our nation.

“Our party, therefore, holds that any parliament that deliberately frustrates its statutory responsibility to call the activities of the executive to question has lost the essence of its own existence. The leadership that led it into such constitutional suicide must be held culpable.

“Indeed, never in our parliamentary history has committee activities been suspended or shut down on the ground of holiday or suspension of plenary.

“For us in the PDP, it is shocking that the APC leadership of the House of Representatives could by any consideration shut down, its legislative investigation, which is exclusively vested on it under sections 88 and 89 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), on the guise of being on break. Such action is calamitous to our democracy”

The PDP however commended members of its caucus and other minorities in the National Assembly for standing against corruption and striving to ensure that the APC did not sell Nigerians into slavery with its reckless foreign borrowings.

“Our party urges the lawmakers not to be deterred but continue in their assignments, as they are only answerable to the Nigerian people.

“The PDP, therefore, charges the Hon. Gbajabiamila-led APC leadership of the House of Representatives to immediately reverse itself as Nigerians expect nothing but seamless investigations without unnecessary interferences and incursions.

“If the Honourable Speaker is inclined towards allowing the covering of corruption, against the purpose for which he was elected to lead the House, then, he should take a bow and step aside”.

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