Gbajabiamila rules out PDP caucus leader
House of Representatives members under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led by the party’s caucus leader Kingsley Chinda walked out on the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila over his refusal to grant their prayer on the Twitter ban.
The Speaker at the beginning of the plenary asked the joint committees on Communication, Information, Justice, and National Security to investigate the legality of the ban and report back to the House within 10 days.
Chinda however raised a point of order to make an additional prayer that the House asks the Federal Government to lift the ban pending when the House carries out the probe.
He said, “Mr. Speaker, I stand on section 39 of the Nigerian constitution, section 19 of the Universal declaration on Human and Peoples right and article 9 of the African charter of Human and Peoples right.
“As a representative of the people, I have a source of communication with my constituents; I have a source of interaction with my leaders. But in moving this, I must, with all sense of responsibility commend the steps you took this morning concerning this issue of the ban on Twitter. It was very proactive, very timely.
“But my concern is that as a Nigerian and several other Nigerians out there, the implication is that for the ten days you have given that committee to work, this breach will continue. We don’t even know for how long our interaction with the Executive arm will last.
“While I agree with the submission of the leadership of this House completely, I will only want to add that for the breach of our fundamental human right, particularly the right to fair hearing, right to freedom of speech and expression, we should urge the Executive arm in the interim to reverse the ban pending our interaction with the Executive.”
Gbajabiamila, however, cited a part of the Standing Orders of the House stating that a matter that had been concluded by the parliament cannot be revisited for a debate.
“Let me quickly refer you to order 9, rule 1 sub-rule 6 of our rules which state that it shall be out of order to reconsider any specific question upon which the House has come to a conclusion during the current session except upon a substantive motion for rescission.
“This matter has already been sent to the committees to look at the issues you are talking about and will report to us within ten days. Even if you had brought a motion here, it would have been referred to a committee. We are not even sure if your motion would not have been killed. This day, we have saved the day. So you are ruled out of order.”Gbajabiamila said.
The Speaker, therefore, ruled Chinda out of order, a decision that did not go down well the members of the opposition.
Insisting on speaking and several leaders of the House shutting him down, Chinda led other PDP members out of the chamber.
They later addressed journalists to say the action was in defence of Nigerians adding that the motion will be moved officially tomorrow but it may likely be rejected again.