House of Reps denies $10m bribe, threatens legal action
The House of Representatives has set up an ad-hoc committee to investigate claims it got $10 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to expeditiously pass the Infectious Disease Control Bill currently before the House.
The 12-member committee is to be chaired by Henry Nwawuoba (PDP, Imo).
Recall that the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) alleged on Monday that it had intercepted intelligence that $10 million had been sent by the “foreign interests” from Austria for distribution to members to smoothen the bill passage process.
CUPP spokesman, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere in a statement added that the Speaker of the House, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, who is one of those sponsoring the bill, was attempting to prevent the bill from going for public hearing to ease its passage.
He called for the Speaker’s impeachment if the move went ahead.
Gbajabiamila, who spoke during plenary on Tuesday, denied the bribery allegation, saying his interest in the bill was only to protect Nigerians.
He explained that a public hearing would be conducted to ensure Nigerians contributed to fine-tuning the bill.
The Speaker mandated the Clerk, Mr. Patrick Giwa, to liaise with the Majority Leader of the House and Legal Adviser to the National Assembly to begin legal action against those behind the “damaging” report. He noted that this would serve as a deterrent to others.
The Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Wase, who moved the motion which led to the resolution, also denied receiving any money to pass the bill.
Majority Leader, Ado Doguwa and Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu equally denied receiving any money to pass the controversial bill.