**Says Process Transparent, in line with House Rules

The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila did not in any way interfere with the process of amending the Rules of the House in 2019, Prof. Julius O. Ihonvbere, Chairman, House Committee on Basic Education and Services and former Chairman of the Ad-Hoc Committee on the Review of the Standing Order of the House of Representatives has said.

The lawmaker who also chaired the House, Ad-Hoc Committee on the Legislative Agenda said that the process of amending the House Standing Order in 2019 was transparent and in line with provisions of the Rules.

Prof. Ihonvbere’s statement which he personally signed on Tuesday was in reaction to Media reports that the House Speaker, ‘Femi Gbajabiamila faces impeachment for allegedly doctoring the House Rule in order to “impose his stooges” on the House as Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively.

The statement read: “Let me state very clearly that I was the Chairman of the ad-hoc Committee that reviewed our standing orders.

“Those that know me, can attest to the fact that I adhere to the highest levels of integrity in any assignment I undertake.

“The process was transparent and in line with our Rules.

“Mr. Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila did NOT interfere once in our deliberations. I never had even a one-on-one meeting with the Speaker throughout the process. The committee finalised its work and it was laid accordingly…the rest is history.
“It is not my wish to take up issues on the merit and demerits of the recommended and approved process. For now, let me state very categorically that the document was not tampered with in any way.
“As democrats, we must all refrain from trying to corrupt, contaminate or compromise the Democratic process in any way,” Prof. Ihonvbere submitted.
“In the document in circulation, it could be seen that the alleged doctored Rule was gazetted as official document of the House over 3 years ago, just as the Votes and Proceedings of the July 25, 2019 shows clearly the decision of the House at the Committee of the Whole on the affected provisions.
Order Sub-Rule 3 deals with
election of presiding officers where the word Tellers appears reads this: “when two or more Members-elect are nominated and Seconded as Speaker and where the two or more accept, the election shall be conducted as follows:
“Division /Tellers method of voting.
(i) By electronic voting; or
(ii) voting shall be conducted by the Clerk to the NationalAssembly using the
list of the Members-elect of the House, with the Proposers and Seconders as
Tellers;
“(iii)every member voting shall name clearly the candidate of his choice;
(iv) when all members that are present and who wish to vote have voted, the
Clerk to the National Assembly shall declare the exercise closed;

“(v) The Clerk of the House shall submit the result of the voting to the Clerk to the National Assembly who shall then declare the member-elect who has
received the highest number of votes as Speaker-elect,” it said.

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