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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

House of reps: Outgoing speaker, Gbajabiamila faces impeachment over doctored standing rules

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Outgoing Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, is facing impeachment over allegations of doctoring the House standing rules to favour his preferred candidate for Speaker and deputy. Over 100 aggrieved members of the House have signed a notice of impeachment to be served on the Speaker at the resumption of plenary today.

The doctored standing rules, referred to as the 10th edition, have a controversial provision for electing the Speaker and deputy through an open ballot instead of the existing rule of secret ballot. This departure from the traditional procedure of electing presiding officers in the House has raised concerns among members, who fear victimisation by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Investigations by our reporter reveal that Gbajabiamila believes that this is the only way by which he can impose his candidate on members as Speaker of the 10th House of Representatives. However, his colleagues accuse him of single-handedly manipulating the rules of the House to edge out more credible aspirants in favour of his stooges.

Speaking with our correspondent, a principal officer of the House said, “No such amendment has been officially carried by the House.” Another member said, “We will get to the root of the matter immediately so as to save the House from any embarrassment.”

The House will have a speaker pro-tempore who will preside over this investigation until the issue is unearthed. It is unbelievable that the House rules will be altered without recourse to the procedures. The chairman of the House Committee on Rules and Business and the Deputy Speaker of the House will be asked to explain their roles in this unfortunate and devastating development.

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