Days after emerging Speaker of the House of Rep, Rt Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila is going to find time to fight legal battles with his fellows who claim he bought votes to win the June 11 leadership election.
No fewer than 70 lawmakers describing themselves as G-70, accused the National Assembly’s Clerk Sani Omolori of impunity and compromise, and are heading for court over the allegations.
The spokesman of the new group, Honourable Mark Terseer Gbillah (PDP, Gwer West/Gwer East Federal Constituency, Benue state), in a statement on Monday, said G-70 is an apolitical group of House members across party lines who are after truth, transparency and the protection of the independence of the legislature.
He made references to photographic images and video evidence being released to back up their claims.
“[The evidence] clearly confirms that members were taking pictures of either the ‘Green Members’ Card’ or their respective identity cards alongside their respective ballot papers showing whom they vote for, ostensibly for the purpose of going back to receive the balance of the monies they were promised,” he said.
“From our findings, it appears that people were initially given $10,000 each with a balance ranging from $40,000 that was supposed to be given for voting for Gbajabiamila; the evidence is there.”
According to him, G-70 is only embarking on a principled struggle, and the agitators have no personal grudges against any person or political party.
“We condemn totally, the use of any form of financial inducement and systematic coercion to compel towards choosing a leader in a manner that totally destroys the sanctity and integrity of the House and the National Assembly as a whole,” the statement added.
“This is what we are fighting against and we are doing it for the good of democracy and for the good of our nation.
“We believe that if President Buhari himself truly preaches and believes in transparency and anti-corruption, then he should realize what his government and what whom he supported has done to become Speaker of the House.
The group vows to explore every legitimate means possible to ensure that justice is done and genuine democratic norms prevail.
Hon. Monday Ihonvbare said while campaigning, Gbajabiamila travelled across the nation with 120 reps canvassing for vote.
“So if he worked that hard, he didn’t need to buy any vote.”