The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has said he will report any government official who shuns the National Assembly’s summons to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Gbajabiamila gave the warning in Abuja on Wednesday when the management of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms led by the Director-General, Mr Dasuki Arabi, visited him.
The threat was issued about 24 hours after the House Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission threatened to order the arrest of the officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Niger Delta Development Commission for shunning an investigative hearing on abandoned projects in Niger Delta.
According to him, the move against erring members of the executive arm of government will be part of the legislative agenda and reforms of the 9th Assembly to be launched in the next two weeks.
He said, “There is a perennial problem the 9th House is going to confront and deal with very seriously, and it is something that I’m going to discuss with the President as well. A situation where the National Assembly – I call it a perennial problem because it has been happening over the years – summons members of the executive – as it has the constitutional powers to do so for oversight –and they do not show up; it does not benefit anybody. It does not benefit the system; it does not benefit the public.
“This 9th Assembly is determined to use every constitutional provision available to make sure that those situations become a thing of the past. There is no democracy in the world that develops where there is no symbiotic relationship between the executive and the legislature. And if this House summons whosoever, I think it is important that they answer the invitation before it gets to the level of summons, otherwise the consequence will not be pleasant for anybody.”
Arabi told journalists after the meeting that the reforms being done by the BPSR were aimed at better management of public resources.
He said, “The aim of the visit was to create a bridge of relationship between the executive and the legislature. Going by our mandate, our scope is centred around public service reforms and we have laid down on the table what we have done from creation till date, and we have asked for the support of the Speaker in adopting some of the reforms.”