The Senate Chief Whip, Orji Uzor Kalu, last week condemned the invasion of the Abuja home of a Supreme Court Judge, Justice Mary Odili.
Soldiers and policemen wielding a search warrant had on October 29 laid siege on the judge’s home over alleged illegal activities in the building.
The security operatives left after an hour when they could not lay hands on anything incriminating at the place.
Kalu’s remark was among the flurry of condemnations that trailed the incident that dominated public discourse in the country last week.
We also got two other stories from the National Assembly for your reading pleasure.
Kalu’s position on Justice Odili
Kalu had in a statement on October 30 described the siege on the ex-Rivers governor’s wife’s residence as undemocratic, uncivilised, and unhealthy for the nation’s democracy.
He said: “The invasion of the residence of Justice Mary Odili of the Supreme Court in a Gestapo manner is totally condemnable and unacceptable in a democratic dispensation.
“The country’s democracy is gradually growing and as such acts that are not in tandem with the constitution of Nigeria and democratic process must not be tolerated.”
Kalu’s remark fits into the larger anger expressed by most Nigerians on the Gestapo-style invasion of the respected jurist’s home and highlights the likely damages such an act could have on Nigeria’s democracy if allowed to fester.
What has become worrisome though are the spate of denials by state agents namely, the DSS, Nigeria Police Force, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, of any involvement in the home invasion.
Although the denials are being taken with a pinch of salt, one thing that has become clear is that the reputation of the Buhari-led administration has been badly dented, with many believing that the Federal Government cannot wash its hands clean of the whole episode.
To come clean, therefore, the government must see through its promise to institute a transparent probe of what transpired and ensure that all those found culpable in the matter are prosecuted to serve as a deterrent to others.
Only this will pacify Nigerians and restore their trust in a government that has been vilified for its poor human rights record and disdain for the rule of law.
NASS MEMORY LANE
“Our position is that some neighbouring states in recent times have been negotiating with the criminals, which on a daily basis kill our own people, destroy our communities and murder our children. Unfortunately, whenever the Nigerian Air Force wants to attack them through bombardment, they move on to neighbouring states, some state governors will sit down with them, winning and dinning with them. I don’t know why we are compensating the bandits.”
Answer: See end of post
Two other stories
Uba’s warning on Nnamdi Kanu
Senator Ifeanyi Uba on October 25 warned the Federal Government to take the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, seriously because of his large army of followers in the South-East.
Uba had said, among others: “You must understand that Nnamdi Kanu has a lot of followership in the South-East. So, the government should take him seriously.
“IPOB is a very big force because most of them are not even in Nigeria. And, they have their way with the media, and people are listening to them.”
IPOB is a huge force, no doubt. Although its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, deserves a fair hearing in his ongoing trial for alleged treasonable felony, many have also argued that the government must also give consideration to exploring a political solution.
This has become expedient, not only because of the rising influence of the group, but the worsening instability in the region and its implications for the overall good of the nation.
Genuine dialogue is, therefore, key and it would be interesting to see how the government responds to several calls for a discourse on the Nigerian project. Uba and his co-travellers must walk the talk in getting all stakeholders to make concessions for the overall well-being of the country.
Senate’s rejection of fresh loan for water projects
The Senate on October 27 rejected President Muhammadu Buhari’s loan request for Sustainable Urban and Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (SURWASH).
Senators took turns to pick holes in the loan request and hence, asked the Ministry of Water Resources to furnish them with details of the loans collected so far, and how they were spent.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debt, Senator Cliifford Ordia, said: “You need to tell us what you are doing with $700 million for water projects.”
The Senate’s rejection of the request is a subtle way to tell Nigerians that they are not a rubber stamp institution, having been criticized for accepting every loan request brought by the Executive without asking questions.
Having said this, the upper legislative chamber’s decision to turn down the request deserves some applause considering the fact that the country is currently boggled down by huge debts with its attendant consequences on the economy.
It is hoped that the disposition of the Ordia-led committee would spur others to act in the best interest of the country.
Answer: Senator Shehu Uba Sani
Sani stated this on February 10, 2021, while reacting to some governors’ decision to negotiate with bandits wreaking havoc in the North-West.
He represented Kaduna Central Senatorial District from June 2015 – June 2019.
Join the conversation
Support Ripples Nigeria, hold up solutions journalism
Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.
As a media platform, we hold leadership accountable and will not trade the right to press freedom and free speech for a piece of cake.
If you like what we do, and are ready to uphold solutions journalism, kindly donate to the Ripples Nigeria cause.
Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.
SPECIAL REPORT: Lack of legal provisions, cultural sentiments fueling marital r*pe in Nigeria
By Arinze Chijioke In the early days of Sandra Izuckukwu’s marriage in 2019, her husband, Sunday Izuchukwu, did everything she...
INVESTIGATION… LIVES ON THE LINE (IV): Surviving in a dangerous media environment
This investigation is on the unresolved killing of three Nigerian journalists while on assignments between 2019 and 2020. For six...
INVESTIGATION… LIVES ON THE LINE (III): Precious Owolabi was killed covering a protest
This investigation is on the unresolved killing of three Nigerian journalists while on assignments between 2019-2020. For six months, Nigerian...
INVESTIGATION… LIVES ON THE LINE (II): Alex Ogbu was telling a story but became the story
This four-part series investigation is on the unresolved killing of three Nigerian journalists while on assignments between 2019 and 2020....
SPECIAL REPORT… TELECOMS BLACKOUT: Nigeria’s latest tactic against banditry grounds businesses, forcing residents beyond borders
The fight against notorious bandits raining terror and kidnapping students in Northwest Nigeria took a new dimension in September as...