The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, on Monday, re-affirmed stance on the suspension of investigative and public hearings, as he said it will remain suspended until the House resumes formally in the penultimate week.
The Speaker who stated this while responding to public outcry over the suspension of the investigation into the $33 bIllion loans obtained by Nigeria from Chinese authorities, after a meeting of All Progressives Congress (APC) convened by President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, argued that the House has not breached any law or known convention by embarking on an annual recess while recalling that members were working during the recess until when it became imperative to suspend the public hearings.
While dismissing the notion that the House totally shut down its activities during its six weeks annual recess, Hon. Gbajabiamila explained that the suspension of all ongoing pubic and investigative hearings for the three weeks remaining of the annual recess was to put in place more measures in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He disclosed that the House’s oversight functions of government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) are still ongoing.
He said: “You can see that some members are actually on the road right now doing their work, that’s a different kind of oversight.
“Members are actually out working and that hasn’t stopped, except for public and investigative hearings.
“Now, because there’s COVID-19 and people are forced to adhere, it’s no excuse to continue to work the way we used to.
“For the Civil Society talking about why the House is going on recess, well, we are always happy to look at advanced democracies, whether it’s Germany, United States, United Kingdom; we are always happy to compare the Nigerian Legislature to those places.