Right Activist, Publisher Faces Kogi Assembly over “False” Report
The Kogi State House of Assembly has summoned Kogi State-based renowned Human Right Activist, Idris Miliki Abdul and Public Weekly Newspaper Publisher, Ade Bada on the floor of the House on Wednesday, 28th August, 2013 over allegations on lawmakers receiving bribe in 20billion naira loan approval.
Mr Felix Udebu, the Spokesman of Honorable Momoh Lawal Jimoh, the Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly described the allegation by Comrade Miliki on his freedom rights trail by the Assembly as a “false alarm”, insisting that his comments were only out of “mischief” to exonerate himself after questioning the performance and integrity of the house in recent unfounded remarks in the media credited to him.
In the statement, Mr Felix revealed that the Human rights activist falsely alleged that state assembly legislators collected and misappropriated constituency project funds against fact that the state lawmakers do not execute projects but only approves funds for the executive to implement.
Mr Felix explained that the House only invited the Human Right Activist and Publisher of the local tabloid in verification of the “authenticity of their claims in The Public Weekly Magazine”.
He insisted that, “the constitutional right for freedom of information, expression opinion is no liberty for derogatory remarks based on lies and smacks of mischief”.
According to the State Assembly spokesperson, “the Assembly expected the Human Right advocate to see the invitation as an opportunity to further defend his cause and the public interest he claims to serve.”
Meanwhile, the Director of Centre for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution, CHRCR, Idris Mikili Abdul in a response has raised alarm over poly by the Kogi State lawmakers to trample on his fundamental human rights.
Mr Miliki who was invited on August 22 to the floor of the House to defend his remarks in an interview to a local tabloid, The Peoples Weekly, after raising questions over the dishonest handling of constituency allowances and diversion of funds meant for projects in their areas.
The latest reactions from the Mr Miliki gives indicates the degree of pressure he is under from the House over his media remarks on inducement received by the state lawmakers in passing into law the law bill.
According to Mr Miliki,”It is worrisome and frightening the way the Honorable Speaker and some of the Assembly members have taken the issue personal, despite my defence and explanation on the said publication, in which am not the Editor nor Publisher of the magazine – i therefore want to alert the public on the dangers associated to freedom of speech in respite to the conduct of the activities of the House – this will not be acceptable under any democratic dispensation where the lawmakers are elected to represent the people.”
However, the Leadership of Kogi State House of Assembly has requested the Human Right Activist, Idris Miliki Abdul and Public Weekly Newspaper Publisher, Ade Bada to appear before it full House a-week after unsatisfied with explanations given when they faced the House leadership of 13 on 28th August,2013 for more interrogation.
Reports in a local media has that a 25 lawmakers of the Kogi State Assembly allegedly received the sum of five Million naira as inducement in quick passage of the 20billion naira loan proposed bill by the Executive.