The contentious US$15million seized from Nigeria by South Africa over a botched arms deal sparked a row between House of Representatives’ Deputy Leader Leo Ogor and Minority Leader Femi Gbajabiamila. Ogor expressed the ‘deepest disappointment’ for Gbajabiamila, who earlier accused him of ‘embarrassing’ the House by saying they were unapologetic for killing debate over the scandalous seized money.
Quoting from a newspaper interview, Gbajabiamila stated Ogor said “If smuggling arms into the country is the only alternative to defeat the insurgents, we owe no apology to anyone.” Gbajabiamila added that newspapers editorials had substituted Ogor’s personal opinion as the Houses’ because he used “We” as though it was the opinion was a consensus.
He argued that “Leo Ogor as a principal officer is free to speak on his own without quoting the whole House and this issue has embarrassed the House.”
“I want to extricate myself from this,” Gbajabiamila said.
Granted the floor, after repeatedly calling to a point of order, Ogor, expressed “my deepest disappointment at my colleague, the Minority Leader for seeing such a publication and never bothered to find out from me if really I granted the said interview or said what was being published”.
Speaker Aminu Tambuwal shared Ogor’s explanation, chiding Gbajabiamila for not clarifying with his colleague initially.