The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Idris Wase (APC, Plateau), said Thursday that the Minority Leader of the Senate, Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP, Abia), ought to be in prison for failing to produce Nnamdi Kanu in court after standing as a surety.
Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe
He cited the example of Ali Ndume (APC, Borno), another senator, who was put in prison by Justice Okon Abang, over the former’s failure to produce Abdulrasheed Maina, former head of the defunct Pension Reformed Task Team (PRTT), whom he had stood for as surety.
Mr Wase made the remarks while responding to a Point of Order raised by Sada Soli (APC, Katsina) on Thursday.
Mr Soli, citing Order 6, Rules 1 and 3, accused the Minority Leader of the House, Ndudi Elumelu (PDP, Delta) of misrepresenting facts of the events at the Executive Session that the House had on April 27.
The House had an Executive Session on April 27. At the end of the session, the lawmakers reached 12 resolutions on security.
In his reaction to the point of order raised on Thursday, Mr Wase said “Ordinarily, for failing to produce Kanu Nnamdi, he (Sen Abaribe) should be in prison, just like Ndume was taken to prison.
“I see somebody as Abaribe, who is the leader in the senate, championing that. Yes, there are many flaws. He bailed Kanu Nnamdi and during the ENDSARS, we knew what happened. Kanu then was the one who was asking for the head of Tinubu, destroy this, destroy that in the nation. But we have allowed him. He knew what happened to Ndume.
“Ndume for bailing Maina was taken to prison for not producing him, but we allowed this man to go as opposition person. And that is why they could send everything back to the person. I am a presiding officer, I wish to be neutral as much as possible,” he added.
Wase tackles Ndume
Last week, at the PDP emergency National Executive Committee (NEC), the House Minority Leader, Ndidi Elumelu, had remarked that “many of our colleagues in the APC have seen reasons to join forces with us and they have expressed their readiness to cross over to our party.”
On Thursday, Mr Wase said Mr Ndume misrepresented what happened at the executive session. He said no member of the APC approached the Minority Leader to decamp.
“Mr Speaker, it was a confidential matter. You know the meaning of executive session. He couldn’t have gone there to report that one. Mr Speaker, I want to say that there is a kind of false platform that I am seeing because after that meeting sir, PDP caucus of both chambers went and had another discussion, a kind of build-up on the security situation. And I think Mr Speaker, we need to be serious.
“I think there is a need for us, as a system, to change our tactics. It is not about opposition. If you are going to do opposition, do opposition that is right, give factual views and also be part of the solution to problems.”
Uzoma Abonta (PDP, Abia) responded that the matter of Messrs Abaribe and Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), is still in court. He argued that Mr Kanu jumped bail after the military invaded his home.
“The last contact the man in question had was with the military. The Senator who bailed the man was going to court regularly. The senator did not default. He was called to show cause and he showed cause successfully. Why is it a point of reference in the parliament?” Mr Abonta said.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila. [PHOTO CREDIT: Official Twitter account of the Speaker]Ruling on the point of order, the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, said members ought to be careful in making pronouncements at a political gathering such as the NEC meeting.
“Your point of order is noted,” Mr Gbajabiamila ruled.