The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has berated the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila over the investigation of its spokesman, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere on the bribe allegation to pass the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Bill.
The CUPP, which said that Gbajabiamila is leading the House of Representatives down the path of lawlessness, added that the investigation is an attempt to harass and intimidate the opposition since it has put its act together and has been putting the government on its toes.
The CUPP, which vowed not to attend the investigating hearing, condemned the ongoing purported investigation of Ugochinyere by a Committee of the House set up by the Speaker.
Addressing newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja, Kenneth Udeze, the Chairman of CUPP Contact and Mobilization and National Chairman Action Alliance said the opposition has held the government accountable and Speaker Gbajabiamila is clearly not comfortable with that, adding, “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 undemocratic course.”
The CUPP asked that “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?”
The CUPP accused the Speaker of violating the rule of natural justice by wanting to be a judge in his own case, even as it call on him to step aside along with his Deputy who is also a co accuser of the CUPP for a neutral person to preside over the issue.
The opposition challenged the Speaker to 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,” CUPP said.