The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Saturday condemned the shutdown of all ongoing corruption allegation investigations in the House of Representatives.
The party described the decision to halt the sitting of various committees carrying out investigation on allegations of corruption against the executive arm of government as a deliberate design “to cover the stench of corruption oozing out of the APC administration.”
In a statement by its national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party charged the Speaker of the House of Representative, Femi Gbajabiamila, to “stop circumventing the statutory duties of the House of Representative and placing wedges in the way of the fight against corruption by the legislature.”
The PDP describes the shutdown order by the APC leadership of the House of Representatives as a clear example of corruption fighting back from within the government circle, which must be condemned by all Nigerians.
The party noted that such “incursion into the activities of the committees is to quench the fight against corruption as well as to frustrate whistleblowers.”
According to the PDP, it is clear that the shutdown directive is targeted at frustrating revelations from ongoing investigations on the $500 billion foreign loan from China, particularly as it related to the mortgaging of our nation’s sovereignty to China.
PDP said the directive has affected the investigations into the corruption in government agencies including the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), the N300 billion unremitted revenue to the federation account, government earnings and the expenditure in Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDA’s) under the APC.
The opposition party said it is unfortunate that under the Gbajabiamila-led leadership, the basic responsibility of the House of Representatives, which is its oversight on the executive, has just been maimed through a forced holiday on the members of the respective committees and their chairmen.
“It is equally distressing that the APC leadership of the House of Representatives is breaching parliamentary rules, practices and procedures to shield APC leaders and their cronies who have been fleecing our nation,” PDP said.
The party noted that any parliament that deliberately frustrates its statutory responsibility to call the activities of the executive to question has lost the essence of its own existence. “The leadership that led it into such constitutional suicide must be held culpable.”
The PDP said it is shocking that the APC leadership of the House of Representatives could by any consideration shut down its legislative investigation, which is exclusively vested on it under sections 88 and 89 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), on the guise of being on break.
It pointed out that such an action is “calamitous to our democracy”.
The PDP, however, commended the members of its caucus in the House of Representatives and other minorities in the National Assembly for standing against corruption and striving to ensure that the APC does not sell Nigerians into slavery with its reckless foreign borrowings.
“Our party urges the lawmakers not to be deterred but continue in their assignments, as they are only answerable to the Nigerian people.
The PDP asked the Gbajabiamila-led APC leadership of the House of Representatives to immediately reverse itself adding that Nigerians expected nothing but seamless investigations without unnecessary interferences and incursions.
“If the Honourable Speaker is inclined towards allowing the covering of corruption, against the purpose for which he was elected to lead the House, then, he should take a bow and step aside.” the PDP stated.