In a reply to the majority leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, the speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara, has said that he informed the principal officers in the house about his choices for members and leaders of House committees, thus disputing the earlier claims of Mr Femi Gbajabiamila.
He however admitted that the consultation held on the same day he made the announcement.
Mr. Dogara, speaking through his media aide, Turaki Hassan, said all principal officers, including Mr. Gbajabiamila were indeed invited for consultations in respect of the committees.
Mr. Hassan however said the discussion held on the day the speaker announced names of members and leaders of the 96 committees.
“The announcement was around 3.30pm and the meeting between the Speaker, the Majority Leader and other principal officers, held between 9 and 11.30 in the morning,” Mr. Hassan said.
The Speaker asked if there was an objection or observation, he added.
“But he (Gbajabiamila) did not say anything there. He was exchanging banters,” Mr. Hassan said.
He said the speaker was not required by any law to secure the approval of the principal officers before making the announcement.
“I hope somebody is not saying consultation is same as approval,” Mr. Hassan said. “The House Rule does not say the Speaker needs approval before appointing chairmen of committees or even relieving them; rather, it provides for consultation which he did,” he added.
A letter, NASS/SPK/LEG/PC/VOL.1/001 dated October 21, which invited the House’s principal officers for a consultation meeting on the composition of the headships of the committees, slated for October 22, was shown as evidence of confirmation.
The letter, signed by the Speaker’s Chief of Staff, Jerry Manwe, was confirmed received by aides at the offices of all principal officers, including that of the Majority Leader.