Members of the Plateau state House of Assembly yesterday exchanged hot words and blows while deliberating on whether or not the House should sit and deliberate over a petition sent to it by a group alleging that the speaker and majority of the members have been bribed in foreign currencies by Governor Jonah David Jang.
Blueprint gathered that the House, which could not sit on Tuesday due to some reasons, convened yesterday, and that the members engaged one another in fisticuffs.
Some members had backed Hon. Ibrahim Baba Hassan, who had insisted that the House must deliberate on the matter.
After hours of deliberations, the House convened in plenary with the Speaker, Hon. Titus Alams, saying: “We are all aware that there was a document sent to the House by a group known as Plateau Patriotic Forum and I hope all members have copies, and what do you have to say?”
Contributing, the Minority Leader, Hon. Abbas Wakdung, said: “I was moved by the content of the petition. We represent the over 3.5 million people of the state, we are called names by the petitioners. We should set up a committee to investigate the allegations and tell the people of the state.”
On his part, the former speaker, Hon. Istifanus Mwansat, urged the speaker to allow the clerk to read the contents of the petition and also lay it on the table for deliberation, but Alams overruled it and adjourned the proceedings till Thursday (today).
The Plateau Patriotic Forum (PPF) had, in a petition to the speaker on May 15, 2014, signed by its secretary, Engr. Felix D. Obadiah, said the “House is domicile and clueless.”
It said the House might go down as the most “uneventful” in the history of the state.
It said: “Year in year out budgets are rubber stamped by members without bothering whether the interests of their constituencies are taken care of or not.
“And for that you look the other way while the state is being systematically milked dry through highly inflated contracts.”
It also alleged that the N50 billion SURE-P fund that accrued to the state was misappropriated by the state governor who also failed to remit the sum of N20 billion to the 17 local government councils of the state, saying the House should re-open investigations into the matter.
The PPF also frowned upon what it described as “illegal collection of loans from First Bank, Eco-Bank and FCMB” by the state government, saying, “and your members have remained characteristically quiet over… of N30 billion without any resolutions and authorisation from the house, and contravenes Section 120 of the Constitution.”
Hon. Ibrahim Baba Hassan said the matter must be investigated “because we are representing the people of Plateau state and they need to know all about their monies.
“I was a member of the committee that investigated the issue of SURE-P, but up till now I cannot say where the money is, but let’s wait and see tomorrow.”
Source: Blueprint


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