The House of Representatives has suspended the consideration of a bill after a member accused the Senate of plagiarism.
Nicholas Ossai (PDP, Delta), on Thursday told the house how a bill he sponsored was transmitted to the Senate for concurrence but was stepped down “for no reason”.
The bill is titled “Federal Polytechnic, Orogun, Delta State (Establishment) Bill, 2020 (HB.642)”
It is a usual practice in the National Assembly that bills that emanate from either of the chambers are passed by the other without debate.
“But to my greatest surprise, the bill was stepped down which has never happened before,” he said.
The bill was reintroduced as a Senate bill and sent to the House on Thursday for concurrence.
Mr. Ossai alleged that his bill was copied by his colleagues in the Senate.
He lamented that the Senate did not give credit to those who sponsored the bill from the House of Representatives.
“The bill brought before us today is carrying the same heading and contents with the one recently passed in this house,” he said.
In his prayers, he urged the house to also step down the bill.
In his ruling, the speaker obliged and urged the house to step it down until all issues are resolved.
Plagiarism is considered a crime in Nigeria, but it is unclear how the senators will react to this accusation.
The Senate had on December passed the bill for the establishment of Federal Polytechnic, Orogun, Delta State, sponsored by the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege.
Mr Omo-Agege, who represents Delta Central Senatorial District, hails from Orogun.
The bill was read for the first time on October 8, 2019 and for the second time on November 7, 2019 after which it was referred to the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETfund.
Mr Omo-Agege sponsored the bill about one year after another bill for the establishment of Federal Polytechnic, Kwale, Delte State.
The bill for the establishment of the Federal Polytechnic, Kwale, which was sponsored by Mr Ossai (Ndokwa/Ukwuani federal constituency) was first read in the House of Representatives on June 6, 2018 and subsequently passed on April 30, 2019.
It was titled, “Federal Polytechnic, Kwale (Establishment) Bill, 2018.”
After the bill was passed, it was referred to the Senate, which passed it alongside five others on December 5, 2018.
The other proposed institutions approved the Senate were Federal Polytechnic, Mpu, Enugu State; Federal Polytechnic, Kaltungo, Gombe State; Federal Polytechnic, Adikpo, Benue State; City University of Technology, Auchi, Edo State; and College of Education, Omuo-Ekiti, Ekiti State.
The passage of the bills at the plenary followed the consideration of the report of the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETfund presented by its chairman, Jibrin Barau.
PREMIUM TIMES reported in December that some member members of the Ndokwa/Ukwuani federal constituency of Delta State expressed displeasure over the delay in the passage of the bill to establish the Federal Polytechnic, Kwale.
They also staged a protest at the National Assembly last year over what they claimed was a plot to relocate the proposed polytechnic from Kwale to Orogun, the hometown of the deputy Senate president.