The House of Representatives on Wednesday, March 21, moved against one of its members, Johnson Agbonayinma (Edo-APC) over his comments on the amendment of the electoral act.
Agbonayinma had in an interview he granted to Channels Television said the National Assembly did not follow due process in the controversial amendments.
Moving a point of order, Awaji Abiante drew the attention of the House to the comments made by his colleague.
He said Agbonayinma abused his office by dragging the house to disrepute.
Also contributing, Daniel Asuquo(Cross-River- PDP) suggested that Agbonayinma be given the same treatment as former chairman of the appropriations committee who just resumed from suspension.
“He should be suspended just like one of our member who just returned from sabbatical.”
Another member, Zakari Mohammed, a member of Mr. Agbonayinma’s APC, also supported the motion. He said a decision taken by the house is binding on all of its members, whether present or absent.
In his ruling, the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, said the National Assembly had followed the same procedures in amending the electoral act over the years even before Mr. Agbonayinma became a legislator and sees no reason why he would allege that due process was not followed.
“I don’t think he can school us on parliamentary procedures.”
The matter was referred to the committee on ethics and privileges to investigate and ascertain whether the allegations were true or not.
If successful, Agbonayinma will be the second member to be suspended by the House since 2015.
The first was Abdulmumin Jibrin who was suspended for exposing budget padding scandal in the house.
The National Assembly had in its bid to amend the electoral act reordered the sequence of the elections, to commence with National Assembly, followed by governorship and State House of Assembly, and Presidential as last.
This is against the sequence rolled out by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) late 2017, which put Presidential and National Assembly elections first and governorship and state assembly to follow.
President Muhammadu Buhari has however rejected the amendments, saying it was an infringement on the rights of INEC.
Members of the National Assembly have expressed mixed reactions over the controversial amendments of the electoral act. While some members have kicked against it, many other members have supported it wholeheartedly.
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