Crisis Brews In Reps Over $15m Executive Largesse

Members of the House of Representatives are poised for a showdown with Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila over allegations of unfair distribution of $15million largesse from the executive arm of government.

The aggrieved lawmakers specifically alleged that Gbajabiamila had an underhand deal with the executive on behalf of the House to pass the N22.7trn Ways and Means borrowing from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) but ended up short-changing his colleagues in sharing the $15million made available to the House to sweeten the deal.

The brewing crisis, it was learned, had forced Gbajabiamila to postpone resumption of plenary which was already slated for Tuesday so as to buy more time and pacify the aggrieved members.

The speaker adjourned the plenary under the guise that the earlier date was announced in error.

The clerk of the House, Yahaya Danzaria, in a terse statement on Monday said, “This is to inform all Hon Members and the general public that the House of Representatives will not resume plenary on Tuesday 16th May, 2023 as earlier announced. The next adjourned date will be Wednesday 17th May, 2023 at 11:00am. Please disregard earlier notice and date; it was made in error. All inconveniences are highly regretted.”

It is, however, unclear whether the strained nerves had not been calmed as at the time of filing this report.

One of the lawmakers who confided in our correspondent said the majority of the lawmakers had an axe to grind with the speaker and that the House may be engulfed in a free-for-all when plenary is reconvened.

The House had on Tuesday, 31st January, authorised the president to borrow a fresh N1 trillion from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to fund the 2022 supplementary budget.  While the House approved restructuring of the N1tn WMAs, the lawmakers dropped the request for N22,719,703,774,306.90 from the CBN.