The Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, on Thursday, said the move to initiate a vast corruption probe of interior minister Rauf Aregbesola at the House of Representatives wasn’t prompted by the rancour between presidential aspirant Bola Tinubu and the minister.
Mr Gbajabiamila, a staunch loyalist of Mr Tinubu while reacting to reports that the minister’s probe was politically motivated in a statement on Thursday, said the allegation was a misrepresentation of the original intention of the motion.
The speaker said that the claim was made to distract the lawmakers from going ahead with the probe.
“We all read the unfortunate slant that was given to the well thought-out motion by the minority leader. It’s the privilege of the entire House that was breached; it is aimed at distracting us,” Mr Gbajabiamila said.
“These are things that we ordinarily should ignore. More of it will still come, especially as we move toward the 2023 elections,” he added.
Mr Gbajabiamila further explained that the motion was initiated by a lawmaker from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) before the House adopted it.
On Wednesday, The House resolved to probe Mr Aregbesola and prisons chief Haliru Nababa for mismanaging up to N165 billion in funds earmarked for prisons development across the country.
The resolution followed a motion of urgent public importance by Ndudi Elumelu, the minority leader of the House, on the floor of the House on Wednesday in Abuja. In his argument, Mr Elumelu criticised the welfare of the workforce.
The legislators resolved to have its committee on Reformatory Institutions investigate the allegations and report to the House within 12 weeks for further legislative action.
The move comes as Messrs Aregbesola and Tinubu are slugging it out publicly over the power tussle in Osun state. On Monday, Mr Aregbesola was at a political rally where Mr Tinubu was severely derided, including being mocked over the viral video that many said amounted to public urination on his body.
Mr Aregbesola has been locked in a fierce political fray with his former chief of staff and successor, Gboyega Oyetola, accusing him and Mr Tinubu of conniving to destroy his legacy in Osun. Messrs Tinubu and Oyetola are believed to be of the same family, with Mr Oyetola often describing himself as a younger brother to Mr Tinubu.