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  • Samson Omale

Ugochinyere Wants Lawmaker, Gagdi, Jailed Over `Contempt Of Parliament

Rep. Ikenga Ugochinyere (PDP-Imo) has moved a motion for the House of Representatives to commit to prison, Rep. Yusuf Gagdi (APC-Plateau), for  contempt of parliament and misleading the House through falsehood.

Ugochinyere moved the motion while raising a matter of privilege, coming under Order 6, Rule 125, and Section 12 of the Legislative House Order of Privileges Act at plenary in Abuja on Tuesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) had earlier reported that Gagdi, while moving a motion of personal explanation at the plenary on June 6, told the House that his privilege as a member of the House had been breached.

Gagdi said that some media publications reported that about 50 members of the House paid a solidarity visit to Gov. Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers during their visit to the state as contained in a statement issued by Ugochinyere.

He said such statement was in bad taste and made the House look like it was taking a position in political matters.

He said that the report presented the story as though the members visited the governor on behalf of the House, whereas they were in Rivers for an oversight function and decided to greet the governor.

Ugochinyere, while presenting his motion however, said, “We did not go to any oversight function, not to talk of politicising oversight functions.

“A group of like-minded lawmakers, on our own, not on behalf of the House, went on a Thanksgiving service in Port Harcourt to celebrate Gov. Fubara’s one year of transformational leadership”, he said.

He said that this was published in all the newspapers, including the one earlier cited by Gagdi.

According to him, Gagdi misinformed the House when he said that “we went on an oversight function, thereby committing contempt of parliament and misleading it.

“About 40 of us who went to Port Harcourt specifically mobilised ourselves and went for the sole purpose of celebrating with Gov. Fubara and not politicising’’.

He said that the comment made by Gagdi was belittling of the status of the 40 lawmakers, saying, “and we are asking that this privilege that has been abused should be addressed.”

This, according to him, should be in line with the provisions of Order 6, Rules 1 and 2, and Section 12 of the Legislative Privileges.

The order states that: “any person who presents to a legislative House any false, untrue, fabricated, falsified document with the intent to deceive shall be guilty of an offense.”

It further says that “the person shall be liable to conviction to imprisonment for 12 months and also be removed as a member of a legislative house.

Speaking on the matter, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Tajudeen Abbas, said the motion had been noted.

He added that the leadership of the House would intervene on the issue, adding that the parties to the matter would be invited along with other affected members for discussion.

NAN had reported that the Deputy Speaker, Rep. Benjamin Kalu, who presided over the plenary on June 6, also said that the leadership of the House would look into the report.

He added that, if found necessary, the matter would be referred to the Privilege and Ethics Committee for further investigation


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