By Gabriel Enogholase
BENINâ€”The Edo State House of Assembly yesterday suspended the Minority Whip of the House, Mr. Phillip Shuaibu, of the Action Congress (AC) forÂ allegedly disparaging press comments against the House and its leadership.
His suspension was sequel to a consequential motion moved by Mr. Chris Umogbai, the member representing Estako Central constituency in the House and was seconded by Mr. Blessing Agbebaku, representing Owan West constituency in the 24-member Assembly seconded the motion.
The Majority Leader of the House, Mr. Frank Okiye, had under matters of urgent public importance, drew the attention of the House to a press interview purportedly granted by Shaiubu, where he was quoted as saying that â€œthe Speaker, Mr. Zakawanu Garuba is deceiving us.â€
Okiye insisted that the alleged comment was capable of inciting the executive arm of government as well as swaying public opinion against the House and its leadership.
Meanwhile, the Speaker has referred the matter to the standing committee of the House on Ethics and Privileges, which has one week to submit its report.
The committeeâ€™s terms of reference among others included the determination of whether the statement that Mr. Speaker deceived the house did not amount to disparaging and ridiculing both the office of the Speaker and the entire Edo State House of Assembly.
The committee isÂ also to determine whether a comment in a derogatory manner to the extent that the Edo State House of Assembly was now a House of resolution was a compliment or meant to disparage the parliament, and whether the regular practice of going to the press by the member representing Estako WestÂ 11 was to discredit the House.