Posted by News Express | 14 June 2019 | 800 times
A civil rights advocacy group, the Human Rights Writers Association Of Nigeria (HURIWA), has condemned the elections of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege as deputy Senate President and Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila as Speaker of Federal House of Representatives when the duo are yet to fully and transparently clear their names against very damaging allegations of misdemeanor and fraud.
HURIWA described their election as a “desecration of the central law-making organ of government with lasting consequences on the moral justifications of the legislations to be churned out from the 9th session of the National Assembly and also constitute a grave sacrilege on the parliament because of the hovering doubts that will linger in the minds of decent persons globally about the ethical challenges that confronted the duo which were never treated or resolved to the satisfaction of the principle of rule of law.”
HURIWA also condemned the All Progressives Congress (APC) for insisting on foisting the duo of Omo-Agege and Gbajabiamila which offends section 15 (5) of the Nigerian Constitution which states that the Nigerian State shall abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power.
The rights group said it was the peak of corruption that two persons with questions to answer, which in some cases border on alleged criminal conducts of fraud and aiding and abetting the criminal invasion of the Senate and the violent theft of the Mace, the symbol of authority of the Senate, just as the group said the emergence of these two persons as Deputy Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives smacks of irresponsibility and crass insensitivity to the opinions of millions of the citizens.
Speaking specifically on the emergence of Senator Omo-Agege as deputy Senate President even after he was indicted by the 8th session of the National Assembly over his alleged role in the theft of the Senate Mace by suspected armed hoodlums, HURIWA stated that the credibility and integrity of the Senate has been eroded and massively damaged irretrievably unless he is impeached from the high office of Deputy Senate President.
HURIWA has therefore called on the Senate to impeach Senator Omo-Agege from the office of Deputy Senate President, saying so long as he remains the Deputy Senate President, the 9th National Assembly will remain a “mere political circus ring and a charade” even as any laws emanating from such a body will have little or no credibility.
“We invite the senators to take a good look at the preponderance of overwhelming rejection of the election of someone who disrespected the constituted authority of the 8th session of the senate when he was suspended by the leadership of the then senate in session only for him to now emerge as deputy senate president.
“This is comedy taken too far and will water down the respect the rest of the world would have on our Senate. What this action conveys to Nigerian youngsters is that it pays to misbehave and disobey constituted authority. This election of both Senator Omo-Agege and the allegedly discredited lawyer, Femi Gbajabiamila, if allowed to remain will amount to the canonisation of rascality and misconduct.”
HURIWA recalled that the National Assembly joint ad hoc committee recommended the immediate suspension of the Senator representing Delta Central, Ovie Omo-Agege, for 180 legislative days over the theft of the Senate mace. The recommendation was made by the committee investigating the invasion of the Senate at the conclusion of their investigation.
The committee also recommended that Senator Omo-Agege be prosecuted alongside six other suspects who allegedly accompanied him into the chamber on the day of the incident. They are to be prosecuted for treasonable felony, assault on National Assembly members of staff, conspiracy to steal and eventual theft of the Senate Mace. The committee also recommends a total review of the National Assembly’s security architecture.
“These steps were never taken by the law enforcement agency under the direct control of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration because Senator Omo-Agege was then positioned as the chief loyalist of the Executive at war with the then Senate President Bukola Saraki,” the rights group noted.
HURIWA argued that the emergence of someone with this kind of disciplinary record as Deputy Senate president has graphically depicted Nigeria as a banana republic whereby misconduct is rewarded.
Besides, the rights group recalled that for many years, Gbajabiamila, has been accused of perpetrating fraud in the United States where he obtained a law degree and where he practiced until his return to Nigeria to join partisan politics from the platform of the defunct Alliance for Democracy (AD).
According to media reports, Gbajabiamila was found guilty of fraud by the US Supreme Court of Georgia in February 2007 and was suspended from practicing law in the US for the offence.
Specifically, the media states that Gbajabiamila, with bar number 288330, was suspended from practicing law in the US for 36 months on February 26, 2007, by the highest court in the State of Georgia.
According to the story, Gbajabiamila allegedly admitted to withholding $25,000 from his client before the court. The sum was received by Gbajabiamila as damages claims for his client. But the client didn’t receive the money at the time, the report states.
HURIWA then wondered why, in the first place, a political party like the APC that has made heavy weather of her determination to fight corruption is now actively supporting a selective policy of cover up and failing to ensure that someone with a question mark, no matter how remote, isn’t allowed to adorn the toga of such a high office in the land as Speaker of the House of Representatives, adding that “Nigeria will live to regret this terrible evil of actively supporting corruption”.
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