By Emman Ovuakporie
ABUJA—Mmembers of the House of Representatives Committee on Ethics and Privileges will on Wednesday commence hearing on an alleged $50,000 bribe given to Peoples Democratic Party,PDP lawmakers to stall a motion on the seized $9.3 million arms deal in South Africa.
Vanguard investigations revealed that the hearing which was initially scheduled for Wednesday, last week could not hold as the major participants did not show up at the venue.
It was also reliably gathered that Aliyu Madaki, APC, Kano, who on the floor of the House admitted that he told a journalist that PDP lawmakers were given $20,000 and not $50,000 as reported had insisted the hearing must be done in public.
Some PDP lawmakers, who spoke to Vanguard under the condition of anonymity said “once a sensitive motion is killed the opposition would raise dust but when APC lawmakers kill a motion nothing is said”.
A lawmaker from the South South region said, “Last week a motion on further amendment to the Electoral Act motion was killed on the floor of the House by APC members and this did not raise any dust but once it is PDP, then there will be allegation that money has exchanged hands.
“Our members should change from this perception of things as it is killing democracy in Nigeria”.
Another lawmaker from the South West simply said ”What do you expect at this period of the 7th Assembly? We are going to play politics on the floor of the House till after 2015 elections, so expect more allegations”.
Vanguard recalls that the House had on September 24 mandated its committee on ethics and privileges to investigate Madaki’s allegations and submit its report within two weeks.
The deadline expired on October 8 but because of the Sallah holidays, the committee could not start the probe.
If found guilty of peddling false allegations, Madaki may be suspended from the House for a minimum period of two weeks.
The chairman of the committee on rules and business, Rep. Albert Sam-Tsokwa ,PDP, Taraba, had raised a point of order bordering on breach of privilege on September 24, accusing a member of bringing shame to the House over the $50,000 bribery allegation.
Citing order 8, rule 20 of the House Rules, the Taraba lawmaker complained that he was embarrassed by stories in some of the nation’s dailies on the walk-out by the APC members on September 23 plenary, indicating that PDP members in the House were given $50,000 each to stall debate on the motion by Abdulrahman Suleiman Kawu to investigate the $9.3 million arms deal involving two Nigerians and an Israeli.
Sam-Tsokwa had said “As the House chairman of the rules and business committee, this issue is not to my knowledge. No money was received by any member of my party or myself”
Although, Sam-Tsokwa did not mention anybody’s name, he alleged that the story was the handiwork of a member of the House, adding that the news story breached his privilege as a member of the House.
To the surprise of members, Madaki however admitted that he made the bribery allegations and confirmed that he told a journalist that he heard on good authority “that PDP members were given $20,000 each.”
He said what he told the journalist over the telephone about the bribe was that he was aware that each of the PDP member was bribed with $20,000 but not $50,000 as reported.
– See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2014/10/9-3m-arms-deal-reps-commence-hearing-alleged-50000-bribe-given-pdp-lawmakers/#sthash.H7lfl1hG.dpuf