Solomon Bob, a member of the House of Representatives from Rivers State, escaped suspension from plenary after apologising for disrespecting the Deputy Speaker, Ben Kalu.
POLITICS NIGERIAMr. Bob, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmaker, had criticised Mr. Kalu, who presided over the session on Tuesday, during the debate on a motion on Nigeria’s Independence Day celebration.
The Rivers lawmaker had accused Mr. Kalu of preventing some members from contributing to the debate, but the deputy speaker overruled him.
The lawmaker, however, continued to protest, saying, “My point of order is that this is a very important subject, and everyone that wants to speak should be allowed to speak,” he said.
About 30 minutes after the incident, Inuwa Garba (PDP, Garba) moved a motion on privilege and called for an apology from Mr. Bob.
Mr. Garba said Mr. Bob had shown disrespect to the presiding officer and the House and should be suspended for three months if he refused to apologise.
“While the speaker was discharging his constitutional responsibilities, our colleague showed a sign of disrespect to this honourable chair and the House. Honourable Solomon Bob, in front of all the cameras—the whole world is watching—said he is disappointed with the action of the speaker and the House. I think that it is unethical and unlawful.
“We have to show examples for others to see. I want to move that from now to the end of this week, the honourable member should come to the floor and put it in writing—apologise to the speaker, apologise to the House and all the honourable members for his action because we are here because we have a law.
“If he refuses, he should be suspended from all activities of the House for three months,” Mr Garba said.
The Minority Leader, Kingsley Chinda (PDP, Rivers), intervened, saying Mr. Bob’s comments did not warrant suspension.
However, the deputy speaker insisted that Mr. Bob must apologise or be suspended.
Mr. Bob returned to the chamber about an hour later and apologised. His apology was accepted by the deputy speaker.