President Muhammadu Buhari has been dared by the members of the House of Representatives to name and prosecute the lawmaker identified as the sponsor of agitators, Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Adeyemo (Igboho), in the country.
The lawmakers claimed President Buhari made all the lawmakers in the House suspects of crime if the alleged sponsor of self-determination agitators was not only identified but also prosecuted.
Buhari had previously said in his speech during the 61st Independence Day anniversary of Nigeria, that the government had been able to identified sponsors of the secessionist groups and their leaders.
He had disclosed that among them is a member of the National Assembly.
“The recent arrests of Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Adeyemo, and the ongoing investigations being conducted, have revealed certain high-profile financiers behind these individuals.
“We are vigorously pursuing these financiers including one identified as a serving member of the National Assembly,” he had said.
However, rising under matters of privilege at Tuesday’s plenary, the member representing Ethiope Federal Constituency of Delta State, Ben Rollands Igbakpa, said that his privilege had been breached by the President’s address.
According to him, “The President, in his speech, noted that one of us is sponsoring terrorism. That means we are prime suspects. He didn’t name that person.
“They have been calling me from all over the world. My friends have been saying who among you is sponsoring terrorists? All of us are prime suspects.”
Igbakpa noted he would not allow the President’s allegation to taint his reputation noting that he was a proud member of the legislature.
He then urged the House to prevail on the President to name the sponsors and prosecute them accordingly adding that the National Assembly would have otherwise invoked Section 88 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to get to the root of the matter.
The section reads, “88. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, each House of the National Assembly shall have power by resolution published in its journal or in the Official Gazette of the Government of the Federation to direct or cause to be directed investigation into -(a) any matter or thing with respect to which it has power to make laws, and
“(b) the conduct of affairs of any person, authority, ministry or government department charged, or intended to be charged, with the duty of or responsibility for (i) executing or administering laws enacted by National Assembly, and (ii) disbursing or administering moneys appropriated or to be appropriated by the National Assembly.
“(2) The powers conferred on the National Assembly under the provisions of this section are exercisable only for the purpose of enabling it to – (a) make laws with respect to any matter within its legislative competence and correct any defects in existing laws; and (b) expose corruption, inefficiency or waste in the execution or administration of laws within its legislative competence and in the disbursement or administration of funds appropriated by it.”