Reps To Limits Court Powers On Matter Under Legislative Investigation, Gbajabiamila Reveals

Reps  To Limits Court Powers On Matter Under Legislative Investigation,  Gbajabiamila Reveals

Chris Suleiman, Abuja.

The House of Representatives on Thursday given a hint that the House would take  steps have towards  reviewing  some aspects of the constitution to ensure that any matter under investigation by the National or state Assemblies is not entertained in any law court.

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This was revealed in Abuja, by the Leader of the House of Representative Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila during his quarterly briefing on the achievements of the House in the first quarter of 2016.

Gbajabiamila told the media that the House is also working on a bill to prevent courts from entertaining any matter before an investigative committee of the House.

“We are also working on an amendment to the constitution with a bill that sought to further protect the National Assembly and State Assembly investigative powers by ensuring that no motion shall lie before any court of law to stop the National Assembly or any state Assembly from investigating any individual or corporate organisation without prejudice to fundamental human rights enshrined in the constitution”.

The House Leader also said that in the first quarter of 2015, a total of about 133 bills were introduced, 34 scaled through second reading and  20 were consolidated while 2 were negative or killed by the lawmakers.

The leader emphasized that the House has invoked necessary sections of the law to eliminate unnecessary delays in the consideration of Bills, adding that the House has agreed that any bill not discharged by the relevant committee within 30 days will be considered by a committee on the whole.

He said, “133 bills were introduced, 34 scaled through second reading,  20 were consolidated and 2 were negative.

“This means that within the first quarter of 2016, 2 Bills and 117 resolutions which arose from motions presented by members of the House were passed in the first 90 days after successfully scaling through all the stages of legislation.

“It is also pertinent to inform you that the leadership of the House have taken pro-active steps to even address the issues of delays in the constitution and passage of Bills.

“Nigerians will recall that similar report was released on the 30th of December 2015 where a total 327 bills were introduced for the first time and some of those bills are still under going further legislative input for whatever reason. 

“Between December 15, 2015 and February 25, 2016, about 35 bills referred to various committees have been pending for more than 60 days” he said.

Hon. Gbajabiamila assured Nigerians that the House has a renewed commitment to legislative excellence while admitting knowledge that situations are harsh but Nigerians should be assured that the House feel their pulse.   

He pointed out that the delay in the passage of the Appropriation bill was as a result of the fact that this was the first time an appropriation bill was subjected to thorough scrutiny.

He also declared  that there is a motion seeking for the replacement of the 23,000 ghost workers discovered recently by the federal government with actual workers from the poll of teaming unemployed youths of this country.

The House leader said that close relationship between the executive and legislature is not good for democracy.

“In a constitutional democracy, there is not supposed to be close or romantic relationship between the executive and legislature for checks and balances. For me we have a very healthy relationship with the executive”.

He equally admitted that the Compliance Committee needs to be strengthened and giving some teeth to bite so that they can effectively follow up the implementation of the resolutions passed by the House. 

Reacting to the insinuations that some of their bills may not get Presidential accent or concurrence from the Senate, Hon. Gbajabiamila said that the president can veto a motion when necessary. He also said that if a bill does not get concurrence or signed by signed by the President, then it is all part of democracy.

He explained the reasons for  changing his views on subsidy removal as opposed to his position in 2012 was because situations changed.

“Facts change. The facts presented 4yrs ago and the facts as presented today are different. The facts are clear. The government did what was right for the people. In am not in for assessment. You can assess somebody now and in 2 years, the assessment may change.

“You cannot build something on nothing. What this government has done so far is unprecedented any where in Nigeria and even in the world. That for me is the change.
He was emphatic that Buharis anti-corruption crusade is already yielding results, saying that before anyone does anything, he thinks twice and looks left and right before he deals with anything.

“You have to deal with the fundamental problem. The man was elected because of his anti- corruption antecedent”.

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