A member of the House of Representatives, Ben Igbakpa, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to name the lawmaker whom he alleged is responsible for sponsoring separatists in the country.
The lawmaker was reacting to the President’s Independence Day speech where he said that a member of the National Assembly is among the high-profile individuals sponsoring the leaders of secessionist groups in the country.
The President, however, did not reveal the identity of the lawmaker, neither did he say if the individual is a member of the House of Representatives or Senate.
“The recent arrests of Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Adeyemo, and the ongoing investigations being conducted have revealed certain high-profile financiers behind these individuals.
“We are vigorously pursuing these financiers, including one identified as a serving member of the National Assembly”, the President said in his broadcast to the nation to commemorate Nigeria’s 61st independence anniversary.
In reaction, Hon Igbakpa expressed concern that his privilege as a lawmaker has been breached by the President’s statement and he is now being regarded as a suspect wherever he goes.
He said, “As reported by media houses across the world, President Buhari in his Independence Day speech, told the world that one of us is sponsoring terrorism.
“IPOB by what it’s to the face of the law today is a terrorist organization even when we have our reservations because the laws of the land and courts have spoken. Mr. Speaker that means that 469 members of this National Assembly are crime suspects”.
He further stated that he was detained on charges of suspicion when he attended a wedding in Ghana over the weekend.
“On that fateful day, I went to Akure, to be part of the burial ceremony of our fellow colleague, Hon. Expensive. On Saturday I had to honor an invitation to Ghana for a wedding, Mr. Speaker it will amaze you what I faced at the hands of Ghanaian officials.
“They detained me for about four hours, that they are trying to confirm something, I stayed at the airport for four hours, missed the wedding I went for and at the end of the day one of them walked up to me saying sorry sir there’s an announcement in Nigeria that a member of parliament is sponsoring terrorism and we are put on red alert to ensure that no member of parliament comes here to hide or cause trouble.
“I had to come back home dejected. They have been calling me all over the world, my friends have been telling me, who among you is that person is sponsoring terrorism”.
The rep member emphasised the need for the President to name the lawmaker and appealed to invoke section 28 of the 1999 Constitution.
“The right thing for a father to do is to name and shame any child that’s bringing about division. But Mr. President didn’t shame that person or name them instead he named 469 members.
“We have always cooperated and Nigeria has a lot to deal with, so I’m appealing, if not the right thing to do is to invoke section 28 of the constitution they can tell us who among us is sponsoring terrorism.
“All of us here are prime suspects. I appeal that the leadership of the House should liaise with their counterparts in the Senate to try and see the President so that he can us who’s sponsoring terrorism amongst us.
He called on the President to go ahead and prosecute, convict the suspect.
The Speaker of the House, Gbajabiamila responding to Hon. Ben said, “your privilege is noted and we will get back to you on that”.