We never shut down motion on Pantami – House of Reps
The House of Representatives on Thursday said it never received any motion calling for resignation of Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami.
It added it didn’t shut down Minority Leader Ndudi Elumelu from presenting such a bill.
Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, who spoke at plenary on Thursday, said even though Elumelu brought up the allegations against the Minister in accordance with the House rules, the issue could not be debated because it was brought under matter of privilege, which is not debatable.
The Speaker asked members to educate their constituents on workings of the House, especially on standing rules while asking journalists covering the House to always report facts.
The Speaker said: “As provided for in our rules, matters that come under privilege are not debated. They are not motions. They are not seconded as a motion should.
“I think it behooves on all of us to educate our constituents on such matters. It was not a motion. We noted the privilege. We only followed our rules. It’s important that our constituents get to know. As is the practice, your point of order is noted.”
Rep. Ahmed Jaha had resurrected the issue under matter of privilege, saying it was appalling some sections of the media reported Speaker Gbajabiamila shut down a motion brought by Elumelu for suspension of Pantami.
Jaha, who came under Order 6, Rule 1 and 2 of the Standing Orders of the House, which borders on matters of privilege of the individual lawmakers, said there was a complete misrepresentation of what transpired in the Chamber.
According to him: “From what happened, this House did not stop any such move. What I know is that the presiding officer only said the order cited was wrong and that the Minority Leader can come through the right order.
“There was no point where this presiding officer stopped the motion (calling) for removal of the Minister.”
Rep Uzoma Nkem-Abonta, who also came under matter of privilege, said the matter at hand suggested Nigerians were mindful of what happened in the House.
He advised it should come under motion on notice for the House to take a clear position.