The leadership of the House of Representatives on Thursday threatened to take-over the powers of the some of the non-functional standing Committees that fail to submit reports of various investigative hearings for further legislative action by next week.
BusinessDay however gathered that some of the Standing and Ad-hoc Committees set up by the House over the past two years have failed to carry out their functions due to paucity of funds.
Some lawmakers who spoke with our Correspondent frowned at the rationale of the indiscriminate splitting of sectoral committee into three committees, such as Judiciary, Justice and FCT Judiciary, as well as assigning functions of some standing committees to Ad-hoc Committees.
Speaking during Thursday plenary session, Emmanuel Orker-Jev, Chairman, House Committee on Rules and Business, informed members that based on the records of the Committee on Rules and Business, 162 reports are still being expected from committees, long after the committees have been mandated by the House to act on certain decisions and resolutions of the House.
Orkev-Jev who noted that various assignments were given different terms of reference and time frame, however argued that the timeline for the assignments have since elapsed, adding that none of the affected committees have turned in preliminary report or excuse.
The Benue lawmaker maintained that the actions of these committees were in breach of the provisions of Order 17 (1 & 3), which empower the House to take over the functions of committees and panels, which fail to consider actions of the House referred to them for further action, and forward reports of same to the House within six months.
In his remarks, Ossai Nicholas Ossai, chairman, House Committee on Ethics and Privileges who also decried the action of the committees, urged the House to give fresh deadline to the affected committees rather than take over the assignments immediately.
While ruling, Speaker Yakubu Dogara who presided ober the plenary session, noted that the Committee of the Whole would have no choice than abide by the provisions of the House Rules if the affected committees fail to forward their reports to the House within a week.
KEHINDE AKINTOLA, Abuja