Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The House of Representatives has given a 72-hour ultimatum to the spokesman of the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), Ikenga Ugochinyere, to appear before its ad-hoc investigating allegation that the House was alleged induced with $10 million to pass the Infectious Bill.
Chairman of the investigative panel, Henry Nwawuba, issued the ultimatum, yesterday, at the inaugural sitting of the panel in Abuja.
The ad-hoc committee is probing allegations that the House was induced to pass the Control of Infectious Diseases Bill sponsored by the speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila and two others.
Nwawuba said though the ad-hoc committee had extended an invitation to the CUPP spokesman to appear before it, yesterday, rather than attend the investigative hearing, Ugochinyere through his counsel, Toochukwu Ohazulike, brought a letter seeking to stall the exercise.
The lawmaker noted that if the CUPP spokesman fails to appear before the panel on Thursday, it will go ahead and submit its report to the House, as its assignment was time bound.
However, Ikenga, speaking through his counsel, told journalists that he is not likely to appear before the House investigative panel, stating that he had filed a suit before an Abuja Federal High Court challenging the competence of the ad-hoc to sit over the investigation of the bribery allegation.
“The clerk of the House of Representatives, particularly, has been served. Attempts have been made to serve the chairman of the panel, he refused to acknowledge service.
“The constitution said Ikenga should not come here. If the constitution says Ikenga should not come here and a man says Ikenga must come ; Ikenga will obey the constitution,” he stated.
Earlier, the Bill &Melinda Foundation has denied offering any inducement to the House to pass any legislation.
The Director, Nigeria Country Office, Paulin Basinga, in a presentation at the investigative hearing dismissed allegations that it purportedly induced the parliament as false.