Amidst the allegation that Femi Gbajabiamila forged the standing rule to ensure Tajudeen Abass, the House of Representatives has adjourned plenary to Tuesday, next week.
However, some aggrieved lawmakers, who are against the emergence of Abbas, believe there was more to the adjournment than met the eye.
The lawmakers accused Gbajabiamila of surreptitiously introducing provisions in the standing rules aimed at arm-twisting them to cast ballots for Abass during voting.
They claimed they were taken aback by the newly introduced amendment that “every member shall name clearly and in the open the candidate of his choice” as against the previous provision that prescribed voting through an open secret ballot.
“This is a deliberate plot to coerce and force members to vote for the establishment’s candidate. The idea is, if you oppose Abass, you will be marked for one punitive measure or the other. This is undemocratic, and we shall resist it,” one of the lawmakers told The Guardian.
But Hon. Julius Ihonvbere, who chaired the ad-hoc Committee on Review of the Standing Order, denied claims that the rule was forged.
He said: “For the records, anyone insinuating the House rule was forged to allow open voting is either ignorant of what the members of the House of Representatives passed at plenary on Thursday, July 25, 2019.
“Let me state very clearly that I was the chairman of the ad-hoc committee that reviewed our standing orders. Those that know me can attest to the fact that I adhere to the highest levels of integrity in any assignment I undertake. The process was transparent and in line with our rules.
“Mr. Speaker did not interfere, once, in our deliberations. I never had even a one-on-one meeting with the Speaker throughout the process. The committee finalised its work and it was laid accordingly. The rest is history.”
He added: “It is not my wish to take up issues on merit and demerit of the recommended and approved process. For now, let me state very categorically that the document was not tampered with in any way.
“As democrats, we must all refrain from trying to corrupt, contaminate or compromise the democratic process in any way.”