The Nigeria opposition coalition CUPP has condemned the ongoing
purported investigation of its Spokesperson Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere by a
Committee of the House set up by the Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila.
In a statement signed by Kenneth Udeze, “the CUPP describes the
purported investigation as an attempt to harass and intimidate the
Nigerian opposition since the opposition has put its act together and
has been putting the government on its toes. The opposition has held the
government accountable and Speaker Gbajabiamila is clearly not
comfortable with that. This attempt to suppress the opposition and
muscle it out of the Nigerian media space will fail.
“The events at the farce hearing on Monday, 18th May 2020 was a clear
attempt to intimidate the opposition and the media and ensure they only
publish pro public news. The military attempted this and failed. Speaker
Gbajabiamila who obviously would have boasted to his masters that he
would succeed to take out the opposition from the media space will fail
in this agenda and fall like a pack of cards.
“We have reviewed the statements by our Spokesperson including all his
press statements and press conferences and we declare that they were all
in line with international best practices expected by the opposition and
we pass a vote of confidence on our National spokesperson Ikenga Imo
Ugochinyere. He has held our flag flying high and he will keep doing
that no matter the amount of coordinated attacks from the likes of
Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila.
“The exposition of the very shady, ugly and shameful past of Speaker
Gbajabiamila in the US by our spokesperson is obviously one of the
reasons why the Speaker has resorted to this misguided action of using
the institution of the House to pursue his personal, narrow, selfish and
“If allegations were made against the Speaker directly, on what moral
and statutory grounds does he has stood to constitute a Committee to
investigate him? Was the speaker not ashamed of himself when the
Committee announced to a shocked audience at the hearing that they had
already taken his evidence in private without any person including his
adversary being notified of the seating or even availed the opportunity
of being present?
“Was Speaker Gbajabiamila not worried by the fact that against all
statutory and judicial authorities including the very rules of the House
over which he presides that the Chairman of the Committee insisted on
sitting even when the subject matter of the sitting was already being
determined by a court of competent jurisdiction? Or does the Speaker who
prides as a lawyer not understand the doctrine of lis pendis? Was
Speaker Gbajabiamila not shocked that the Committee conducted a guided
hearing on 18th May moving like a taxi that had been told by the
passenger where he was headed and they were moving with precision to
indict Ikenga and decapitate the opposition? Has he also never read the
provisions of Order 9 Rule 5 of the House Rules? What else has he not
read that he should have read?
“It has become manifest that speaker Femi Gbajabiamila in his blind rage
against the Nigerian opposition and the opposition Spokesperson is now
ready and willing to lead the House down the path of lawlessness.
Otherwise, how could the Speaker so flagrantly violate the rule of
natural justice and wants to be a judge in his own case? Speaker
Gbajabiamila should note that it is time to stop his grandstanding and
stop using the Honourable House for his personal preservation.
“Speaker Gbajabiamila is hereby called upon to step aside along with his
Deputy who is also a co accuser of the CUPP for a neutral person to
preside and set up a Committee and he would see how the truth of his
activities in the sponsorship of the Infectious Diseases Bill 2020 would
be shown to the world.
“We have also commenced consultation with the leadership of the Peoples
Democratic Party over the activities of some of its members who are
willing tools in the hand of the Speaker and the ruling APC to be doing
their hatchet job. Would it not have been the role of an opposition
member to ensure that the Constitution and all other extant laws are
obeyed by institutions of state? How disappointed are we that an
opposition lawmaker in the person of Hon. Henry Nwawuba is the one
driving the vehicle on this ill-fated journey to shame? Even after he
was duly informed that the matter he was investigating was subject of a
judicial process, he continued, adjourned and insisted on using all his
powers to secure the attendance of our Spokesperson to his illegal
sitting. We never knew Hon. Henry Nwawuba is now the Nigerian Supreme
Court that has the final adjudicatory powers in the country. We hope the
moles in PDP will be identified through this process and appropriate
punishment meted out to them.
“Let it be made clear to Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila that the Nigerian
opposition will not indulge him neither are we ready to massage his ego.
We will also not encourage nor support his desecrating the House of
Representatives any further. Thereby, our Spokesman Ikenga Imo
Ugochinyere will not be attending the illegal, unconstitutional and
contemptuous sitting of his undemocratic Committee led by Hon. Henry
Nwawuba. Our legal representatives will be sent again to remind him of a
pendency of a suit at the Federal High Court on the subject matter of
his sitting wherein the clerk of the House of Representatives has been
served, the Clerk of the National Assembly has been served and other
relevant parties. They will also remind him that by the Rules of the
House he should not continue sitting but where he insists on going on
they have also been instructed to inform him that they would proceed
against him in contempt. This attempt at naked show of power will end
like those before him.
“Speaker Gbajabiamila whose private Committee refused to grant any
audience whatsoever to the legal representative of our Spokesperson was
the same person who did not attend Court but sent legal representatives
when the opposition secured criminal summons against him from a court of
competent jurisdiction on allegations of pilfering money belonging to
his client in the USA. He is the same man whose committee says they will
not listen to any legal representative. Nigerians have clearly seen the
undemocratic tendencies of the Speaker and his inclination to
lawlessness. But this will not last we assure you.”