Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ahmed Wase, has stated that the Minority Leader of the Senate, Eyinnaya Abaribe, should be in the prison for his failure to produce the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, just like Senator Ali Ndume was taken to prison for his inability to produce Abdulrasheed Maina.
Wase stated this at the plenary yesterday while contributing to a debate following a point-of-order raised by Hon. Sada Soli, who said his privilege was breached when the Minority Leader of the House, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, allegedly told journalists that some All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmakers approached him about their planned defection to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The deputy Speaker said it was out of place for Elumelu to have divulged to journalists what he described as confidential matter, which was discussed during an executive session.
Wase said: “There is a kind of false situation that I am seeing because after that meeting, PDP caucus of the two chambers went and had another discussion. We need to be serious. I see someone like Abaribe as a leader in the Senate championing that. Yes, there are many flaws. He bailed Nnamdi Kanu, and during the #EndSARS protest, we knew what happened. Kanu then was the one who was asking for the head of Tinubu. But we have allowed him. He knew what happened to Ndume. Ndume, who bailed Maina, was taken to prison for not producing him, but we allowed this man to go because he is in opposition.
“I think there is a need for us as a system to change our tactics. It is not about opposition, if you want to be in the opposition, do the right thing and also be part of the solution to problems.”
The deputy Speaker insisted that the privileges of APC lawmakers were breached due to the alleged statement credited to Elumelu.
Wase noted that it was completely wrong information, and was deliberate; adding that that was why he cited the issue of what Abaribe did, with all the PDP lawmakers behind him.
According to him, “Ordinarily, for failing to produce Kanu, he (Abaribe) should be in prison, just like Ndume was taken to prison for not producing Maina.”
It was at that point that Hon. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta raised a point of order, saying who Wase was talking about (Abaribe) is his senator.
He added that there is a judicial decision on the matter, and wondered why if the House was trying to arrogate judicial powers to itself.
Abonta said: “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?”