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BREAKING: We Did Not Call for Suspension of Samoa Agreement Implementation – House of Reps Clarifies

The House of Representatives has refuted reports that it passed a resolution urging the Federal Government to suspend the implementation of the Samoa Partnership Agreement.

The clarification was made by the House spokesman, Hon. Akintunde Rotimi, on Wednesday.

According to Rotimi, lawmakers instead resolved to investigate controversial clauses in the agreement to ensure alignment with constitutional provisions, extant laws, and national interests.

Rotimi clarified that the House urged the government to engage in thorough consultations and stakeholder engagement regarding the agreement. He explained that the decision followed a motion sponsored by Rep. Aliyu Sani Madaki (NNPP, Kano) and co-sponsored by 88 lawmakers, which raised concerns about alleged clauses supporting the LGBT community and potential infringement on Nigeria’s sovereignty.

He said, “During the debate, concerns were raised regarding alleged clauses purportedly mandating support for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community as a prerequisite for financial and other aid from developed nations.

“Additionally, apprehensions were expressed about several specific articles within the agreement, including Articles 2.5, 29.5, 36.2, and 88, which some lawmakers believe may not align with Nigeria’s national interests and values, especially in the absence of a reservation clause.

“Rep. Aliyu Sani Madaki argued that Article 97 of the agreement, which asserts the supremacy of the agreement over any conflicting treaties involving European Union (EU) member states or the Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS), potentially infringes upon Nigeria’s sovereignty.

“In response, House Leader, Rep. Julius Ihonvbere (APC, Edo) clarified that the agreement, as officially presented, does not include provisions related to a $150 billion fund or any clauses promoting LGBT rights in Nigeria, contrary to public speculation.

“Emphasising the importance of parliamentary oversight, House Minority Leader, Rep. Kingsley Chinda (PDP, Rivers) underscored the need for transparency in treaty negotiations, citing Section 12 of the Nigerian Constitution (1999, as amended), which mandates parliamentary involvement in such matters”.

He said further: “It is important to clarify that the House of Representatives did not resolve to call for the suspension of the agreement nor for the suspension of its implementation, as has been erroneously reported by some media houses.

“Instead, the House resolved to thoroughly scrutinise the Samoa Partnership Agreement for all contentious clauses through legislative hearings.

“Furthermore, the House mandated its Committees on Treaties, Protocols and Agreements; Justice; and National Planning and Economic Development to engage with relevant stakeholders to address any ambiguities in the agreement. The Committees are expected to report back to parliament within four weeks.

“In reaffirming its commitment to shaping Nigeria’s foreign policy in line with national interests, the House emphasises its Legislative Agenda 7 (Influencing and Directing Nigeria’s Foreign Policy) to harmonise constitutional requirements with the Treaty Ratification Act for consistency and transparency.”