House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Ahmed Idris Wase on Thursday took on Senate Minority Leader Eyinnaya Abaribe for standing surety for Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leaders Nnamdi Kanu.


He said Abaribe should be in prison for failing to produce Kanu in court.


According to him, the Abia South senator should be imprisoned just as Senator Ali Ndume, who stood surety but failed to produce former Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT) Chairman Abdulrasheed Maina, who jumped bail.


Wase spoke while contributing to Point of Privilege Order raised by a member of the House, Sada Soli.


In the point of privilege, Soli expressed displeasure at House Minority Leader Ndudi Elumelu’s remarks at a closed-door executive session last week that some APC members plan to defect to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).


In his contribution, Wase expressed surprise that Elumelu, after their session, was in a meeting with PDP caucus of both chambers of the National Assembly.


He said: “For him to even go out to report 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 there is a kind of false platform that I am seeing because after that meeting, PDP Caucus of both chambers went and had another discussion, a kind of build-up on the security situation. And I think we need to be serious.


“I see someone as Abaribe, a leader in the Senate, championing that. Yes, there are many flaws. He bailed Kanu Nnamdi and during the EndSARS (protests), we knew what happened. Kanu then, was the one who was asking for the heads of Tinubu, destroy this, destroying 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.


“What is happening sir? I think there is 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 and also be part of the solution to problems.


“I think our privilege has been breached. There was complete wrong information and it is deliberate and that is why I am citing the issue of what I have seen the minority leader in the senate has done, with all of them sitting behind you. Ordinarily for failing to produce Kanu Nnamdi he should be in prison, just like Ndume was taken to prison.”


Responding to the Wase, Uzoma Nkem Abonta, said there was already a judicial decision on the matter and wondered why it should be brought up at all.


“The man (Abaribe) mentioned is my senator. There is a judicial decision on this. Are we trying to arrogate ourselves judicial powers as to when you cannot produce someone who you bailed.


“It was canvassed up to appeal. Is it an offence to bail somebody? If you bail somebody, you produce him subject to there is no interference. 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?


“Except we are trying to sit as an appellate court or interfere with the judiciary, the matter went the full whole course with the judiciary. He was asked to show cause and he showed cause. I was producing this man when there was no interference. We should ask the military where they keep him. We should do things that would get us peace. Our problem now is security. How do we get security?”


House Deputy Minority Leader Toby Okechukwu said: ”There was no breach of privilege. He (Elumelu) didn’t say Sada came to him. He didn’t say it is the resolution of the House. He said some people came to him. And it is clear that Sada has been criss-crossing in this chamber. If other members are interested in moving to PDP, I do not see how it affects him. Like the Speaker rightly said, anyone has liberty.”


House Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, who tried to calm frayed nerves, said: “The deputy speaker’s point was not on the legality or non-legality. He was talking about the morality of it. If you remember, he talked about Senator Ndume as well and used that as an example. I think the point we need to make and understand is that we are all working together to build this nation.


“Nation building is a joint task among all of us, whatever party, whatever tribe, whatever religion. We only have one country. In doing that we should be mindful whilst we play our role as a ruling party, whilst we play our roles as opposition.


“We should be focused on the non-disintegration or bringing down of the country. We should be mindful of our speeches or our utterances. There is freedom of speech. But, freedom to speak also has to be measured.

By Scopie

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