House of Representatives cannot reconvene abruptly without Tambuwal’s permission – Spokesperson

The House of Representatives, which s currently on recess, cannot cut short its recess without the express approval of its speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, a spokesperson has said.

Zakari Mohammed, the spokesperson of the House, stated this in an email to journalists on Sunday evening.

PREMIUM TIMES and other media had reported moves by loyalists of President Goodluck Jonathan and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to reconvene the House before its scheduled resumption date of December 3.

The early resumption being proposed is believed to be to ensure Mr. Tambuwal is removed as Speaker by a PDP-majority House.

Mr. Tambuwal recently defected from the PDP to the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC. His security details have since been controversially withdrawn.

In his statement, Mr. Mohammed clarified the legal procedure to reconvene the House before December 3.

Read his full statement below:

The House of Representatives adjourned sitting of its plenary on 28th of October to 3rd December 2014 to allow members of the House carry out pre Pre- Budget oversight activities in preparation for the 2015 Budget and also to meet the political calendar of all the political parties.

This adjournment was unanimously approved by all the Principal Officers of the House without dissent and the motion was moved by Mulikat- Adeola Akande, the Majority Leader .The Speaker, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, CFR, approved with the Gavel.

There has been intense media focus on this adjournment and media inquiries on the appropriate procedure for re- convening of the House of Representatives from its Recess, if it becomes necessary. The following clarification has become imperative.

The procedure for reconvening or Re-Assembly of the House is contained in the House Standing Orders made pursuant to Section 60 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which empowers the House to regulate its own procedure, including the procedure for Summoning and Recess of the House.

Order V , Rule 18(2) of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives provides as follows;

“ Whenever the House stands adjourned either to a date fixed by Resolution or the Rules of the House, and it is represented by the Leaders of the Political Parties in the House to the Speaker that the public interest requires that the House should meet on an earlier or a later date or time than that on which it stands adjourned, the Speaker MAY give notice accordingly, and the House shall meet on the date and at the time stated in the notice.”

This means that the Leaders of all the political parties in the House especially the Majority and Minority Leaders respectively MUST consent before the representation is made to the Speaker who has a discretion to agree or not.

This briefing is for the information and guidance of all Nigerians.

Zakari Mohammed

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