The House of Representatives has laid to rest speculation that the Presidency and ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, are working behind the scene to convince lawmakers to cut short their recess and reconvene with the aim of impeaching Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, who defected to the All Progressives Congress, APC, last week.
Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Hon. Zakari Mohammed, who put the speculation to rest in a statement issued on Sunday evening, said the green chamber cannot cut short its recess without the express approval of the speaker even as he went further to clarify the legal procedure involved in getting the House to reconvene before its scheduled resumption date of December 3, resumption date.
It would be recalled that following the announcement of his defection from PDP to APC at the tail end of plenary last Tuesday, Speaker Tambuwal sent lawmakers on a long recess till December 3.
The statement by Mr. Mohammed reads: “House of Representatives adjourned sitting of its plenary on 28th of October to 3rd December 2014 to allow members of the House carry out pre Pre-Budget oversight activities in preparation for the 2015 Budget and also to meet the political calendar of all the political parties.
“This adjournment was unanimously approved by all the Principal Officers of the House without dissent and the motion was moved by Mulikat- Adeola Akande, the Majority Leader. The Speaker, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, CFR, approved with the Gavel.
“There has been intense media focus on this adjournment and media inquiries on the appropriate procedure for re- convening of the House of Representatives from its Recess, if it becomes necessary. The following clarification has become imperative:
“The procedure for reconvening or Re-Assembly of the House is contained in the House Standing Orders made pursuant to Section 60 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which empowers the House to regulate its own procedure, including the procedure for Summoning and Recess of the House.
“Order V, Rule 18(2) of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives provides as follows;
“Whenever the House stands adjourned either to a date fixed by Resolution or the Rules of the House, and it is represented by the Leaders of the Political Parties in the House to the Speaker that the public interest requires that the House should meet on an earlier or a later date or time than that on which it stands adjourned, the Speaker MAY give notice accordingly, and the House shall meet on the date and at the time stated in the notice”.
According to the statement, the implication of the legal procedure to reconvene the House is that leaders of all the political parties in the House especially the Majority and Minority Leaders respectively, “MUST consent before the representation is made to the Speaker, who has a discretion to agree or not”.
The spokesperson of the house pointed out that the statement he issued is for the information and guidance of all Nigerians.