Two former speakers of the Kogi House of Assembly, Clarence Olafemi and Abdullahi Bello, have condemned the action of the state screening committee chairman for demeaning the power of the legislature when he failed to honour its invitation.
The duo also cautioned Governor Yahaya Bello against shielding any of his subordinates from appearing before the House when invited as this would amount to trampling on the constitution.
The House had on Tuesday, January 17, 2017, directed the committee to submit its report to it within 24 hours following a motion of urgent public importance moved by Mr. Friday Sanni, member, representing Igalamela/Odolu Constituency.
In a letter sent to the House, which was read by the Majority Leader, Matthew Kolawole, the committee chairman said since the report had been submitted to the governor, the House should direct its request to him for further actions.
Olafemi, apparently piqued by the tone of the letter, said the power of the Assembly could even enforce a warrant of arrest of the officer.
He said: “Because the House of Assembly is made up of representatives of all the component parts of the state, it has the full power to investigate matters affecting the state.
“That power is not ambiguous. It has the power to invite even a non-indigene and this is not the first time we are having controversies surrounding invitation.
“So, the power of the Assembly has been subjected to test and it has been confirmed that it has that power.”
Bello, on his part, said the committee boss could be pardoned because he might be acting out of ignorance and does not know the implication.
He added: “For the benefit of those who are ignorant of the constitution, I will state very clearly that all state Houses of Assembly in Nigeria with particular reference to Kogi State derive their existence and powers from the 1999 Constitution.
“Section 103 of the constitution is very clear as relating to the power of the Assembly to set up committees and when they set up committee, what they do with it, Section 128 of the constitution gave them the power of investigation.”
Credits: John Akubo | GuardianShare this on WhatsApp