21st December, 2022
By Ismaila Chafe
The Speaker of House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has distanced the National Assembly from the ongoing N89 trillion stamp duties controversies between a Rep member, Gudaji Kazaure and the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
Kazaure, in a viral video, had accused Governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele, of attempts to cover-up facts surrounding the collection of the stamp duty funds.
He also alleged that he was deliberately being denied access to present preliminary Report of a committee set up by Buhari to look into the alleged stamp duty funds being withheld by the CBN.
Also in the viral video, the Kazaure urged the president to either allow him to present his Report to him or immediately order thorough investigation of the alleged stamp duty funds.
But while speaking to journalists on Tuesday after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja Gbajabiamila said the stamp duties funds controversy had nothing to do with the National Assembly.
Gbajabiamila also ruled out an intervention from the House of Representatives, saying that would only happen if it becomes necessary, saying the matter had nothing to do with the legislature.
He said: “Kazaure, from my understanding, is working with whoever he’s working with. If it necessitates the House coming in, we will come in.
”If he has an official function, he should go ahead and do his work, but this has nothing to do with National Assembly. Not that I know of.
“It was not based on a resolution of the National Assembly. It was not based on a motion from the National Assembly.
”I believe he said he had executive authority to do what he’s doing. If that be the case, then it’s got nothing to do with the National Assembly.”
Gbajabiamila said that the House can only call Kazaure to order if he was impugning on the integrity of the House, individuals or leadership of the House that have nothing to do with what he was doing.
He said: ”I think it’s important to separate the two. If he has a mandate to do something, that’s on him.
“When it came up, we have asked members of the executive, they said they were not aware of any mandate, or such mandate has been withdrawn.
”I don’t want to get into it, except to the extent that he attempts to impugn on the integrity of members of the House and that’s a no no. We have nothing to do with this.”
The presidency had on Dec. 11 dismissed as fake and untrue that Emefiele, could not account for about N89.1trillion the CBN allegedly collected as Stamp Duty charges.
The speaker said he discussed various national issues with the president, including next year’s general elections, associated rising violence and the controversies trailing recently introduced cashless policy.
On his meeting with the president, Gbajabiamila said his visit was routine, adding that they had discussions on critical national issues.
They included issues around the Central Bank of Nigeria’s recent cashless policy and the issue of political violence in different parts of the country.
Gbajabiamila said: “We discussed things that came up in the last few weeks, things come up every day in Nigeria, every day and in the last few days, some things have come up.
”I’m sure you know some of these things, and I just wanted to get his perspective on them and give him mine and that of the National Assembly’s perspective and position on those matters. We had a fruitful discussion.”