Thursday 29th October 2015 witnessed a drama in the Red Chamber of the National Assembly. The opposition PDP Senators had in a protest against the confirmation of former Governor of Rivers state, Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi for a ministerial post under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari staged a walkout of the hallowed chamber. Even though the Senators gave the reason for their protest as being the refusal of the leadership of the Senate to suspend the confirmation of Hon. Amaechi until the outcome of the judicial proceeding initiated by him, challenging his indictment by a commission of inquiry instituted by the Rivers state Governor. Barr. Nyesom Wike on allegation of corruption and abuse of power while in office as River’s Governor. Most Nigerians saw the action of the PDP Senators more as a payback to what transpired about a year ago at the Senate during the confirmation hearing of the former Minister (State) for Defence, Mr. Musiliu Obanikoro.
Members of the then opposition APC senators had staged a similar walkout in protest, pointing out that Mr. Obanikoro was unfit to hold such an exhorted position of a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in view of the alleged roles he played towards the rigging of the Ekiti gubernatorial election which led to the defeat of the APC. Going by the provision of the relevant part of the Nigerian Constitution which expressly states that every person who is charged with a criminal offense shall be presumed to be innocent until he is proved guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction and the relevant standing rules of the Senate, which states that the Senate shall not act or debate on any issue that is already before a Court of Law, the protest by the PDP Senators can be said to be meaningless and one that is unnecessary and uncalled for.
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It is however, laughable and amusing that even some of the PDP Senator who were already standing trials with the EFCC on alleged cases of corruption, misappropriation of public funds, money laundering and other criminal offences also took part in a walkout which the leadership of the PDP has described as a “protest against the Ministerial Confirmation of an alleged corrupt nominee” One will however question the rationale behind the fact that individuals like; Senator Buruji Kashamu, an alleged drug Kingpin who is wanted by the United States of America; Senator Stella Odua, who allegedly misappropriated a whooping sum of N240 billion on lavished purchase of two BMW bullet proof cars, while in office as aviation minister under the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan; Senator Sam Egwu, who has a pending corruption case in court; Senator Godswill Akpabio, who is presently facing charges of corruption with EFCC; Senator Joshua Dariye, who was arrested for money laundering and impeached from office as Governor of Plateau State; Senator Jonah Jang who is facing N20 billion corruption charge with EFCC; Senator Theodore Orji, who has a pending case with EFCC for allegedly squandering N474 billion while in office as Abia State Governor; Senator Enyinnaya Abanibe, who was impeached as Deputy Governor for corruption, all of whom participated in the said walkout-protest lacked the moral bases to do so.
Nigerians have not forgotten the corruption charges hanging on the necks of majority of these PDP Senators, and the moral implication of their actions in the past, it is therefore funny that they have suddenly become “Saints” that has the temerity and guts to protest against the ministerial confirmation of an alleged corrupt nominee. The PDP senate caucus should as a matter of fact bury their heads in shame and first of all remove the log of wood in their own eyes before removing the wool in another's, those who live in a glass house do not throw stones.
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