By ADEBIYI ADEDAPO, Abuja
There was palpable tension in the House of Representatives yesterday as members of the House were divided against Speaker Yakubu over unresolved financial issues.
LEADERSHIP gathered that some of the aggrieved lawmakers stormed out of an executive session convened by the Speaker, alleging financial impropriety against some principal officers of the House.
According to sources privy to the executive session which lasted for about two hours, members of the House queried the Speaker over alleged reckless spending of some of the deductions from the monthly and quarterly emoluments of the lawmakers.
It was also gathered that frantic efforts are being made by the leadership of the House to quell the crisis before it gets to the public domain.
The North West caucus in the House had met behind closed doors on Tuesday night and deliberated on the fate of the House leadership.
After the meeting, leader of the caucus and Chief Whip of the House, Alhassan Ado Doguwa, refused to brief waiting journalists after the meeting, as he said the meeting was regular.
Also a few minutes before the commencement of the plenary session, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus also met to behind closed doors to harmonise their position.
Leadership observed that some members displayed dispiritedness to Speaker Yakubu Dogara, when he was ushered into the chambers.
Some lawmakers yesterday refused to observe the tradition that all members maintain a standing position when Speakers procession make its entrance into the chamber.
Some of the lawmakers were also heard ordering their standing colleagues to sit down, in a show of disrespect to the Speaker.
Irrespective of this, a reasonable number of House members, particularly members of the PDP, stood still and welcome the very warmly.
Meanwhile, the electronic voting system on the review of the 1999 constitution by the House of Representatives may jettisoned be following the inconsistencies recorded during the test running of the platform.
Except functinong of the electronic device is perfected before plenary today, the devise may be unreliable for a sensitive voting, such as constitution review.
Several testing of the system by lawmakers on the floor preparatory to the voting proper, the first three attempts failed to produce any accurate figure that tally with the actual number of lawmakers who were on the floor.
Speaker yakubu Dogara who presided over the proceeding had called for re-trials after the initial setbacks, saying that they would result to their traditional voice vote should the system fail to work.
“We want to test the integrity of the platform and it can only be as good as the result it is giving us. So please, we have to repeat the ritual to ascertain the efficiency of the the facility”, Dogara had said.
However, the system which later picked up after some engineers were brought in to rectify possible glitches repeatedly produced inconsistent results in an upward disparities.
Having recorded a total of 205 votes in the mock vote wherein 151 voted Yes, 33 voted No while 21 Abstained, the system continued to increase the total figure in all subsequent trials conducted.