ABUJA, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA) – Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, is reportedly enmeshed in waters of allegations of financial misappropriation, arrogance and dictatorship.
He is allegedly facing backlashes and oppositions from aggrieved members of the House over his dictatorial leadership which left the Principal Officers and other members who supported his Speakership aspiration regretting giving him their support.
Gbajabiamila has been accused of single-handed disbursement and spending of the House allocation and other funds accrued to it. This has left many members fuming with regret for supporting him.
Investigation revealed that the NASS receives about N120 billion monthly as statutory allocation, shared in the ratio of 40% and 60% between the Reps Service Commission and the House. What it means is that at least, Gbajabiamila collects N72 billion monthly and singlehandedly disburses it.
Reports say he does not involve other Principal Officers in the disbursement of the huge sum of money.
He, not only single-handedly disburses the monthly allocation, he also ensures that the lion share of the allocation goes to his office, allegedly raising spurious vouchers to cover his tracks of between N380 million to 600 million running cost per month for himself as against less than N25 million for his Deputy and less than N9 million for other members.
It was also gathered that while Gbajabiamila purchased new cars and other utility vehicles for his use, his Deputy has not been so lucky with him and still using the official cars he inherited from his predecessor in 2019.
“For the past four years, the Deputy Speaker has been using the vehicles he inherited from his predecessor. The Speaker bluntly refused to buy new official cars for him but he has purchased new cars for himself,” one of the aggrieved members from Kano State stated.
He has also been accused of single handedly dishing out contracts emanating from the House to his cronies.
One example of such was the official cars purchased for House members. More than 400 cars are purchased for the lawmakers as their official cars and it was learnt that the usual practice is for supply slots allocated to the Speaker and other Principal Officers.
However, Gbajabiamila allegedly deviated from this path, allocating majority of the slots to himself through cronies.
“Over 400 cars are purchased and the usual practice is for the Principal Officers to be given allocated numbers to be supplied. The Deputy Speaker is expected to be given 100 slots while the Speaker take 200. But in this instance, Gbajabiamila broke away from the convention and allocated only 30 slots for the Deputy Speaker, and that one duly rejected it,” another member of the House from one of the north east States revealed.
Another scam contract is the renovation of the chambers alleged to have cost the govt over N42 billion.
Further investigations have revealed that Gbajabiamila, contrary to the posture of a righteous politician he is displaying in public, is allegedly dictatorial and arrogant in his dealings with other members of the House.
“We all know he’s arrogant but in addition to this, the assumption of office as the Speaker has shown that he’s not to be trusted with power,” a member of the House revealed on Monday.
Gbajabiamila was further accused by some members of the House, both outgoing and returning, of running a one man show. “Decisions, especially bothering on finances are usually taken without recourse to the Principal Officers,” another member alleged.
A member gave an instance of such one man show citing the example of what happened during the last General Elections. It was alleged that the Speaker collected huge sums of money running into billions of naira from the Federal Government but only disbursed $15,000 each to his colleagues.
There are other atrocities the Speaker was alleged to have committed and it was in his bid to cover all these, that he is vehemently working and campaigning against his Deputy from replacing him.
Logically, many members of the House believe that his Deputy, Idris Wase, who has been committed and loyal to him should be his natural successor. But Gbajabiamila would have none of it.
Findings have shown that this alleged desire to cover his track that first made him go into an alleged agreement with the Ahmad Lawan group prior to the presidential primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC), but when it was looking obvious that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu would win, he returned to Tinubu’s camp.
The Lawan group had reportedly assured him that he would retain his position as Speaker of the House if Lawan became the President.
“Abbas is his stooge and we won’t allow him impose his stooge on us.
“The leadership of the party should know that Gbajabiamila is not the only member of the APC in the House. Although he’s the Speaker, he just first among equals and we won’t allow him impose his candidate on us,” another House member revealed concerning the choice of candidate to replace Gbajabiamila as Speaker.