Infectious Disease Control Bill: Reps Head to Court Over $10m Bribery Allegation

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THE House of Representatives is heading for the court over what it believes is a weighty allegation of bribery of $10million, allegedly given the House to pass the Infectious Disease Control Bill.

The resolution was to take legal action against an online media organisation for allegedly reporting that the House collected $10million from Bill Gates to pass the Contentious Infectious Disease Control Bill.

Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila has 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.

To fine-tune the efficacy of the legal action, the House also set up an investigative panel headed by Henry Nwawuba to fish out those responsible for the damaging report. The panel is to report back to the House in 10 days.

The resolution of the House followed the passage of a motion of Personal Explanation by the Deputy Speaker of the House, Ahmed Wase, at plenary on Tuesday.

It was unanimous agreed by all members that the legal action begins in earnest.

Wase, while moving the motion, said he had not collected any money from anyone and was aware that no member had collected money from anyone for that purpose.

According to him, it was reported by an online media organisation that the House collected $10million to pass the contentious bill.

Majority Leader Ado Doguwa told members that his hands were clean, as he did not collect money from anyone.

He wondered where the report emanated from, saying it was damaging to the integrity of the House.

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A remedy, he said, must be sought, as the Green Chamber was doing its job to ensure the safety of the people.

He said he like other members saw the report on the online medium alleging that members were given money to pass the piece of legislation.

Minority Leader Ndudi Elumelu told his colleagues that he read on an online news medium, Daily Post, that Bill Gates, an American philanthropist and billionaire, gave the Green Chamber $10million to pass the bill.

He said no member of the minority caucus got any money to support the bill, especially himself.

“By the time the Gates Foundation came to the House, we were all in attendance. I want to submit that we did not receive anything and I stand by it,” he said.

Speaker Gbajabiamila was of the opinion that responding to such baseless accusation would give credence to it.

But the action of the online media, he said, had, however, given credence to the need to regulate social media and online publications.

The allegation, Gbajabiamila said, was nonetheless weighty enough to take legal actions against the media organisation, even if it is to deter others.

The Nation

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