Faults minority leader for using point of privilege instead of urgent motion of public importance
By Levinus Nwabughiogu – Abuja
House of Representatives will hear the call by the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu for the resignation of the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami when it is properly presented before it, the Spokesman of the House, Hon Ben Kalu said last night.
In a statememt, Kalu said that the report in some online and conventional media (not in Vanguard Newspapers) that the Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila blocked a motion raised by Elumelu at Wednesday plenary on the call for Pantami’s resignation was totally untrue.
The statement read thus: “The House is aware of several publications on online and traditional media claiming that the Speaker of the House, Rep Femi Gbajabiamila blocked a motion by the Minority Leader of the House, Rep Ndudi Elumelu purportedly demanding the resignation of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami.
“This misrepresentation of facts for the sake of sensationalism has necessitated this statement of clarification.
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“For the avoidance of doubt, the House is guided by the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives (House Rules) in its operations and administration. In this case, the Minority Leader should have known better than to present such an issue for debate via Order 6 of the House Rules which only applies to Legislative Privileges.
“He ought to have come under Order 8 Rule 4, as a matter of urgent national importance, or via a motion on notice to enable other members second the motion and make their contributions through debate in true democratic fashion, after which the House would be able to take a position on the issue.
“It is, therefore, pertinent to inform Nigerians that the House has not acted in error, but in line with the provisions of its rules. All insinuations that the House did not allow democratic debate to take place on the important issue of Pantami’s resignation are simple untrue.
“The House acknowledges the severity of the issue and its nature as a matter of public concern.
“As always, the House stands ready to give audience to Rep Elumelu or any other member of the House on this issue, provided that such audience is sought through the proper channels and brought under the relevant rules of the House.”