Gbajabiamila Faces Impeachment Over ‘Unfair’ Allocation of Constituency Project Funds
– Speaker Denies Allegations
There’s confusion in the House of Representatives as some lawmakers are poised to begin impeachment proceedings against the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, over allegations of lopsided allocation of constituency projects funds.
Sources in the know said the lawmakers are accusing the leadership of the House of Representatives of favouring new entrants over their older colleagues in the allocation of the funds as contained in 2021 budget.
“As it stands if the leadership does not act quickly to douse the emanating tension, in the days ahead we may see moves to impeach the Speaker of the House,” our source said.
The source also revealed that “lawmakers who are first timers were allocated between N700 million – N1 billion and in some cases N2.5 billion, House members who are second, and third timers were allocated a miserly N100 million.”
This has created a tense mood in the ranks of members as some accused the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, of unfairness.
“The Speaker is however, blaming the Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation, Rep. Aliyu Mukhtar Betara for the confusion, and has directed for a supplementary allocation to address the lopsided allocation of funds,” the source revealed, adding that aggrieved members have been directed to submit requests for the allocation of additional funds.
While absolving the Speaker of any knowledge of the allegation, the House Committee Chairman on Media and Public Affairs, Rep. Benjamin Kalu, also denied any knowledge of the impending crisis.
Kalu stated that Speaker Gbajabiamila is unaware of the grievances of members regarding constituency projects, disclosing that as a lawmaker, he was hearing about the issue for the first time.
“As you mentioned, the Speaker is not aware of any lopsidedness neither am l. I’m hearing it for the first time and l am certain that it’s not true.
“The allocation for constituency projects is a statutory N100 billion distributed across senatorial districts and federal constituencies.
“This is what a member is entitled to and it is not controlled by the chairman appropriation. Other projects beyond this, belong to the citizens in those areas and a function of lobbying by all the stakeholders from the area, not just the members of the National Assembly,” he explained.
Also, he denied the preparation of a supplementary allocation by the House leadership targeted at a particular objective, adding that “no supplementary budget will be used by the National Assembly to balance any non-existing imbalance.”
“The chairman of House Appropriation Committee does not generate budget line items. The executive does, while we screen to meet the desires of the citizens,” Kalu said.
Meanwhile the Appropriation committee chairman, Hon. Aliyu Betara (Borno State) could not be reached on his mobile to provide insight into the matter.