Sunday, September 19, 2021

Reps ‘fume’ over alleged $10bn bribe from Bill Gates, vows to take legal action

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Rayyan Alhassan
Rayyan Alhassan is a graduate of Journalism and Mass Communication at Sikkim Manipal University, Ghana. He is the acting Managing Editor at the Daily Nigerian newspaper, a position he has held for the past 3 years. He can be reached via [email protected], or, or @Rayyan88 on Twitter.
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The House of Representatives says it will take legal action against an online media for alleging that the house collected 10 billion dollars from Bill Gates to pass the Infectious Disease Control Bill.

This was sequel to a unanimous adoption of a motion of Personal Explanation by the Deputy Speaker of the House Ahmed Wase (APC-Plateau) at plenary on Tuesday.

Moving the motion, Mr Wase said that it was reported by an online media that the house collected 10 billion dollars to pass the bill.

Mr Wase said he had not collected anything neither was he aware of any member of the house that had collected money from anyone on that account.

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Also, the Majority Leader of the house, Rep. Ado Doguwa (APC-Kano), said that he saw the report alleging that members were given money to pass the bill.

Mr Doguwa said he did not collect money from anyone, noting that the house was doing its job in line with what was necessary for safety of the people.

The Minority Leader of the House Ndudi Elumelu (PDP-Delta), said that he read on an online news medium that America’s billionaire, Bill Gates, offered the house 10 billion dollars to pass the bill.

Mr Elumelu said he did not get any money and no member of the minority group had collected any amount to support the bill.

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But Speaker of the House Femi Gbajabiamila said that issues with such baseless accusation would be given credence when responded to.

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He said the action of the online media had, however, given credence to the need to regulate social media and online publications.

The parliamentarian, however, said that the allegation was weighty enough for legal actions to be taken against the media organisation to serve as deterrent to others.

Mr Gbajabiamila mandated the Clerk of the House Patrick Giwa to liaise with the majority leader of the house and the Legal Adviser to the National Assembly to commence legal action.

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A bill for an act to repeal the Quarantine Act and enact the Infectious Diseases Control Act passed second reading under controversial circumstances in the house on Tuesday, April 28.

The bill, among others, sought to empower the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, to order the administration of vaccines on all Nigerians in a bid to control diseases.

The bill, however, was met by widespread criticism from political parties, civil society organisation and individuals.

In response to the criticism, Mr Gbajabiamila who is the sponsor of the bill, stepped down the bill, saying that it would be subjected to public hearing.


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