November 15, 2017

Breaking: Dogara orders non-performing C’ttees to forefeit inconclusive reports to House

Speaker House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara briefing State House Correspondents after a closed door parley with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. Photo by Abayomi Adeshida

…Some of the committees had stayed over one year on one issue

…162 C’ttee Chairmen may forefeit rights

By Emman Ovuakporie

ABUJA-THE Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara on Wednesday ordered all committees still carrying out investigations that have not been concluded to be forfeited to the Committee of the Whole immediately.

Speaker Dogara

The Speaker apparently disturbed by the deliberate refusal to his earlier directive 5weeks ago that such committees should submit their reports within one week had no choice than to give the directive.

This development was sequel to a point of order raised by Rep Ossai Nicholas Ossai, PDP, Delta citing Order 17 Rule 3 and Order 10 that the issue should be re-visited as it affects the tenets of the 8th Assembly Legislative Agenda.

Ossai in his submission told the House that “5weeks ago Mr Speaker you ordered that committees that had not submitted their reports in the last one year should submit their reports or forefeit their rights to such bills.

“Mr Speaker five weeks after nothing has happened and this runs contrary to the legislative agenda of this 8th House which you have been championing.

“These committees were mandated to submit their reports within 30days according to our House Rules but six months and even one year after they are yet to submit reports.

He explained that some of the bills are more than a year old some are even two years old adding that”we’ll be failing in our duties if nothing is done.

At this point, the Speaker called on the Chairman Rules and Business, Rep Orker Jev, APC, Benue, to give a narrative to the House on the directive he gave five weeks ago.

Jev told the House that “we complied with the directive and letters were sent to all the affected committees but they complained of spending money to conduct public hearings so we gave them sometime.

“We gave them time because if we don’t, the House will be losing money and if you remember I was the one that brought it to the knowledge of the House,”Jev said.

In his ruling, Dogara ordered that his earlier directive five weeks ago should be effected.

Recall that on October 11 chairman, House Committee on Rules and Business, Rep Emmanuel Oker-Jev informed the House that a total of 162 committees’ investigative reports were yet to be laid before the House, more than two years after they were constituted.

Vanguard findings however revealed that the adhoc committees which had the maximum time line of 8 weeks to conclude their assignments were major culprits.

In a list obtained by Vanguard revealed that a total of 15 panels were constituted between April and October 2015, with investigation deadline ranging between (4) four to (6) six weeks, but none has so far submitted it’s report for consideration.

From 2015, the 15 adhoc committees set up with not more than (6) six weeks time line to conclude their assignments and turn in reports include:

Ad hoc committee to investigate a request for approval to obtain $75million credit facility from the World Bank for Edo State government, and headed by Rep Babangida Ibrahim (APC, Katsina) and was set up on August 5, 2015.

Also set up on October 15, 2015 was the adhoc committee to investigate the accounting procedure of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), headed by Hon. Eyong Michael Okon (PDP, Akwa Ibom).

Attempts by our correspondent to get the list of ad hoc committees set up in 2016 proved abortive with sources saying that some of the issues being probed by these panels have been fraught with legal encumberances, forcing the House to stay action.

In 2017, a total of 12 adhoc committees were also set up by the House with the first being the committee on “accidental air strike on internally displaced persons (IDPs) at Raan, Kale Balge Local Government of Borno State”, set up on January 18, 2017 and headed by Rep Mohammed Sani Zorro (APC, Jigawa).

Notable amongst the panels constituted in 2017‎ is the House adhoc committee on economic recession which was inaugurated on January 26, 2017 and headed by Rep. Olabode Ayorinde (PDP, Ondo).

Reps heading adhoc committees yet to submit reports include: Reps. Ahman Aliyu Pategi, Nasiru Sule Garo, Mohammed Idris Wase, Albert Adeogun, Chike John Okafor, Ahmed Yerima and Isiaka Ibrahim.

Others are: Reps Tobi Okechukwu, Adekoya Adesegun Abdel-Majid, Danlami Kurfi, Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe, Iboro Ekanem Asuquo, Lawal Abubakar Garba, Femi Gbajabiamila, Ahmed Abu and Mohammed Tahir Monguno, Abdulrazaq Namdas respectively.