- Category: Society
- Published on Monday, 10 October 2011 08:16
- Written by Admin
- Hits: 1274
We gathered that at the last Executive Session of the House of Representatives, members expressed outrage that the official residence of the speaker which they described as a ‘national monument’ would be sold off even when the monetization policy of the government does not capture such houses.
But the Chairman of the House Committee on Media, Hon. Zakari Mohammed told us that a decision on whether the House would be retrieved from the former speaker or not has not been taken because the ‘issue has not been officially brought before the house of Representatives’.
Sources at the executive session told us that already, steps are being taken by the House leadership with the backing of its members to reverse the sale and refund the money to Hon. Bankole.
“Members were shocked when the speaker who does not have an official residence since he was elected informed the House that he intend to rent the official residence from its present occupant for N40million. It is scandalous that a house that was bought for N45million would be rented out at that amount. We must retrieve the House from the former speaker” one source at the meeting told us.
It was gathered that at the tail end of the sixth Assembly, the official residences of the President of the Senate and the Deputy; the Speaker and his Deputy were sold to their occupants at prices that were considered to be way below the prevailing market prices for such houses.
It could not be confirmed whether the president of the senate and the deputy president of the senate also paid for their houses as the former speaker did.
A member of the House who spoke with us on condition of anonymity expressed shock that the houses of the presiding officers of the National Assembly could be sold to their occupants.
“How can we sell the official residence of the presiding officers of the national assembly? These are like national monuments and they are not captured in the monetization policy of the federal government. If the official residence of the speaker and the senate president are sold to their occupants, then the official residence of the president and the Chief Justice of Nigeria should also be sold to their occupants too. The sale of these houses is a monumental fraud and we must reverse it. It cannot fly”, the member who does not want his name in print told us.
It was gathered that apart from buying the speaker’s official residence, the Speaker also purchased his residence which was allocated to him as a member of the House of Representatives before he was elected speaker.
When contacted, the chairman of the House Committee on Media, Hon. Zakari Mohammed said the House has not taken a decision on whether it would pursue the retrieval of the house from the former speaker.
“The house has not taken a decision on that. For the house to take a decision, a member has to bring the issue up at plenary and a position taken on it. For now, the House has not taken a position on it. When the house takes a position, then we will know what to do”, he said. (Vanguard)