House of Reps vow to sue over allegation of taking $10m from Bill Gates to hurriedly pass controversial Infectious Disease bill

Members of the House of Representatives have vehemently denied the allegation from opposition political parties that they collected $10 million from American billionaire philanthropist, Bill Gates, so they can hurriedly pass the Controversial Infectious Disease bill. 

Recall that the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), on Monday May 4, alleged that it has intercepted a human intelligence report that the sum of $10 million was offered to the lawmakers from an external source to influence the speedy passage of the bill without recourse to legislative public hearing.

However during plenary today, the Minority leader of the House, Ndudi Elumelu, denied the allegation. Speaking on behalf of members of the minority caucus in the house, Elumelu denied the claim saying there is no truth to it.

Also House of Representatives member, Obinna Chidoka said himself and other members of the House have been inaundated with calls from members of their constituency to share their part of the $10 million largesse from Mr Gates.

Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila asked lawmakers to ignore ” mischief makers” According to him, such comments only give credence to the call for the regulation of social media.

The House then called for legal action against the purveyors of fake news and libel against the House. It asked the legal department to institute legal actions against those behind the news.

Meanwhile, the House resolved to hold a Public Hearing on the Infectious Diseases Control Bill to address the controversy and hear the objections of Nigerians.

The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, in his resumption speech promised that the House would take the controversial Infectious Diseases, Control Bill, 2020, through a Public Hearing.

“The Control of Infectious Diseases Bill will be put forward to a public hearing where stakeholder contributions will be sought to make improvements to the Bill before it is reviewed and debated by the Committee of the Whole”, the Speaker assured.

He said, “It is from the accumulation of these myriad views, suggestions and good faith critiques from within and outside the House, that we will arrive at final legislation that meets the present and future needs of our country, and which we all can support in good conscience”.

He, however, warned that the Public Hearings may be conducted in line with the COVID-19 guidelines.

“The social distancing guidelines under which this House and the whole country operates, for the time being, means that the usual format of public hearings is not tenable. If a socially distant public hearing becomes workable, we will certainly explore that option”, he said.

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