Author Topic: The assault on democracy by House members.  (Read 5496 times)

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Offline alhaji_aminu

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The assault on democracy by House members.
« on: February 18, 2005, 02:45:55 AM »
Salam
A great and honorable nigerian gentleman by the name Haruna Yerima was suspended from the house of representative yesterday (feb 16) for speaking the truth.

I am posting below a news item from the daily independent newspaper about the matter.My hope is that after reading,  people will be totally outraged and ashamed by the acts of the so called 'honarable' members.

**************************************************************
Reps suspend member over bribery allegation
By Uchenna Awom
and Bayo Oladeji
National Assembly
Correspondents, Abuja

 ?I did not talk about institutional corruption but on individual members and committees. I insist they are corrupt. If I am crucified over it, so be it. I owe nobody apology?.
Those were the words of Haruna Yerima (ANPP, Borno) on Thursday, moments before House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Bello Masari hit the gavel sealing a one-month suspension on the unrepentant lawmaker.
But the House made no effort to address his allegations; rather it said the man cannot substantiate them, and as such must allow the Ethics and Privileges Committee probe him during the suspension.
However, Yerima?s colleagues, led by Datti Baba Ahmed, who accompanied him out of the Chamber, said the action portray the extreme bias of the House in its attempt to shift attention from the issues raised.
Yerima had on Wednesday alleged that some  committees? members collected bribes from ministers and heads of government agencies to jack up their allocations in the 2005 Appropriation Bill.
Besides, he insisted that MTN had been giving each member of the House recharge cards worth N7,500 monthly, an allegation owned up by Communication Committee Chairman Yemi Arokodare, who described it as ?PR? (public relations).
Most scathing, which apparently angered the lawmakers, is his claim that House debates are merely ?beer parlour debates?, geared towards deceiving Nigerians.
His suspension was sequel to a notion moved y House Chief Whip Bawa Bwari and seconded by Abike Dabiri.
Bwari said Yerima?s sweeping generalisation and comment are unparliamentary.
Reading Daily Independent?s report on the floor to buttress his point, he said Yerima?s allegations have cast aspersion on the integrity of the House.
Emotions, however, ran high when Deputy Speaker Austin Opara disparaged the lawmaker in uncomplimentary language.
He said the pedigree of Yerima speaks volume of the type of character he is, recalling that ?it was in the same manner he lost his job at the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) Kaduna as a lecturer?.
Opara, who not only recommended a one-month suspension ?even though? it is not a strong enough punishment, requested that Yerima be taken to a psychiatric hospital for examination.
Falling short of calling him a mad man, he stated that the antecedents of the former political science teacher made his allegation not to come as a surprise.
But Yerima was not alone in his hour of grief. Most members, through a voice vote, almost out shouted the ?ayes?, who wanted him axed.
Once outside the Chamber, they condemned Opara, saying it was wrong for him to talk about somebody?s pedigree, and that he should have been called to order as he nearly called Yerima a ?mad man?.
Said Ahmed: ?Opara has no right to say all what he said. That shows the kind of society we have. Members like Yerima are very rare, those that are ready to say the truth at all times. He was punished because he dared to say the truth to save Nigerians from further embarrassment?.
************************************************************

Just to put things in context, Haruna Yerima - with a  PhD in pol sci, was fired from the Nigerian Defence Academy for baring his mind on the excesses of Obasanjo's government before the 2003 election.

I sincerely hope that Dr. Yerima will be reinstated immediately to do what he knows best- discharging his duties as a legislator.

In the mean time, all we can say is Allah wadaran naka ya lalace...............ameen.

Offline mrguest

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Re: The assault on democracy by House members.
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2005, 03:56:45 PM »
that is realy bad, what is MTN up to now




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Offline Dan-Sokoto

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The assault on democracy by House members.
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2005, 11:17:36 PM »
Mr myadudu please forgive my late entry into your post. I just sawit now after my long absence from kanoonline. Now to the issue - sentiments apart, the legislator has not impressed me a bit. What we need in present day Nigeria is courageous and intelligent public personalities. Not the kind of mess El-Rufai performed about his allegation of bribe request from some senators. Intelligent people in the sense of providing evidence for whatever one comes out to allege. I swear by al-mighty Allah, that even though i am not a phd, i will not perform so poorly like el-Rufai or the phd legislator in providing concrete evidence to whatever i will have the courage to come out and tell nigerians. And courageous in terms of resigning my position instantly where i decide to come our with such allegations.

But currently what we see is chicken hearted public officials coming out to make mere un-provable allegations with a view to playing to the gallery.

Finally, to me, both el-Rufai who is claimed to be an intelligent 1st class ABU product and the phd legislator are mere dullards as i cannot fashion-out any intelligence whatsoever in such characters. Getting phd certificates and 1st classes should never be automatioc criterion for hailing our so called intelligent people. There is more to that.

The legislator should go to sleep as he has performed poorly. And there coulkd be sense in his possible state of the  mind.

Dan-Sokoto

Offline mallamt

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The assault on democracy by House members.
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2005, 03:11:32 PM »
Well it looks like atleast someone listened to Senator Yerima, with a minister being detained and members of senate being called in for questioning I surely do hold serious hopes that we may be finally be seeing an attempt by nigerians to stop this nonsence of bribes in our politics.  We must give it to Ribadu of the EFCC that despite the difficulties he is ruffling feathers in nigeria, we must see his input in creating a clean nigeria as only the first step that is lying the foundation to give those to come after him the courage to pursue corrupt persons in our society and prosecute them.  We can only pray for God's mercies and guidiance for Ribadu he is indeed in a very difficult job and his contribution has made a lot of countries skeptical of nigeria, to have another look.  What the EFCC is doing today no one imagined possible under a democratic dispensation in nigeria a few years ago.

Offline kitkat

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The assault on democracy by House members.
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2005, 08:05:10 PM »
Quote from: "mallamt"
Well it looks like atleast someone listened to Senator Yerima, with a minister being detained and members of senate being called in for questioning I surely do hold serious hopes that we may be finally be seeing an attempt by nigerians to stop this nonsence of bribes in our politics.  We must give it to Ribadu of the EFCC that despite the difficulties he is ruffling feathers in nigeria, we must see his input in creating a clean nigeria as only the first step that is lying the foundation to give those to come after him the courage to pursue corrupt persons in our society and prosecute them.  We can only pray for God's mercies and guidiance for Ribadu he is indeed in a very difficult job and his contribution has made a lot of countries skeptical of nigeria, to have another look.  What the EFCC is doing today no one imagined possible under a democratic dispensation in nigeria a few years ago.


Mallam t i woudnt hand out the medals just yet.

Apparently yerima stilll smarting from his suspension put together a dossier on the education budget scam and handed it to Nuhu at EFCC who in turn briefed obj who gave him the go ahead to commence investigation and asked his ministers to confess to any bribes given to ease budget passage or face the music.

Osuji was subsequently arrested along with his aides who all confessed to the fact that N50m was raised for the purpose from all manner of sources including taxing principals of Federal govt. colleges( who i guessed levied innocent pupils)  The comittee was given N20m to share while the senate big wig who arranged the transaction pocketed the balance for his noble efforts.  When it turned out that the big wig in question was no other than wabara, ribadu took his findings and in company of yarima headed to the villa to brief the Boss.

 That is where things are at the moment and in typical nigerian fashion baba has declared that since nobody put a gun to Oujis head to give money he should bear the brunt of the crime while the distinguished bribe takers at the senate should be left alone because people will say that he is trying to undermine the integrity of the assemby in the light of his PDP dialogue.

My expecation of Ribadu is for him to insist on on following thru with his investigation and bring any one found culpable to book irrespective of his position, after all they dont have immunity so he does not need a court interpretaion to commence, otherwise he should resign honorably and go back to yola.

 Anything short of this will only confirm peoples fears that nuhu and his crack team are simply a bunch of renegades put together to harass and discredit anyone that doesnt toe the OBJ line, and to send a mesage to all and sundry that if you cross baba he will set his dogs on you.

Wabara has since given out a statement to the effect that he only helped to "arrange" a meeting to "facilitate" the passing of the education budget.  Why in Gods name does he have to arrange for the facilitation of something that we elected them to do in the first place, if there was any facilitation why was it held in Apo village and not the senate floor?

These bunch of clowns think we all share the same IQ with them so they can continue to peddle this kind of horses**t whenever theyre caught with their pants down. Im not suprised. By some grand  design OBJ and co ensured that every single principal officer in the house was not duly elected, but was either rigged in amidst riots and protests , or had his name written at inec headquarters sometimes weeks after the actual winner had been declared.

It is said that you should fear the prayer of the oppressed for it goes directly to the Creator without an emissary.  They may rob the treasury blind, but when their greed extends to poor and hapless secondary school pupils, then this is what you get.

The best is yet to come!

Offline Dan-Sokoto

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The assault on democracy by House members.
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2005, 11:05:32 PM »
kitkat! Totally in support of your argument. These recurring un-ending episodes are suspect. Whoever the whistle blowers are, why are Nigerians never presented with fool proof evidence of what is being alleged? Why can't an honourable member whistle blower call a press conference present the bribe he was given in addition to say a secret video or audio recording of the transactions when he was offered the bribe. If iam an honourable member of the nigerian congress or a public official and desirous of exposing corruption, i will attend any such suspicious or controversial meetings say in the senate president house with a mini tape recorder. And i will play it for all nigerians to hear at a press conference. Things in nigeria now require such extreme actions. This was what i expected somebody like el-Rufai with his intelligence and zeal of exposing corruption to have done in his meeting with Mantu and Zwingina, instead of his 'Allah' being the witness. What a shame.

But as things are now, either the exposers are not satisfied about their shares of the bribes or there is more to what we are being fed. On the EFCC, i am still holding my suspicions, cos am yet to be convinced of its authenticity and sincerity of purpose. I just cannot imagine how somebody like Tafa Balogun is yet to be arraigned before a court of law. Let nobody be in doubt as to what dubiousity governments can do and really do. Recall that, the Balogun saga erupted just when the issue of Uba/Ngige's election rigging confession before OBJ was on full throttle before the nigerian/international fora. Automatically, the Balogun issue dwarfed the rigging issue and put it away to the back burner. We nigerians are like small kids, being thrown at with different toys at different times to engage our attention, while totally forgetting about the last toy/issue. And to me, EFCC seems part of the game plan. Well, time will tell.

Dan-Sokoto

Offline alhaji_aminu

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The assault on democracy by House members.
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2005, 04:05:51 AM »
salam
I think if there is any one feeling good about this saga, then that person must be congress man Haruna Yerima.  And as a just learnt, he was recently acquitted or (is it pardoned) by house ethics and priviledges committee for making those allegations. So as things stand, he is a 'free' legislator.

Now onto the issue of Yerima's sincerity. Dan Sokoto seems to think that since Haruna Yerima hasn't backed his allegation with concrete evidence, then his whistle blowing is not of any use. I disagree. Dan Sokoto might be saying this because he thinks no one will pay the price for the graft in the house. But, if we are a nation of laws, and Yerima can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that indeed people are taking and sharing money illegally, then that ought to be sufficient to convict the perpetrators. The house did not give him a chance to do so.

I think Kitkat has made many brilliant points even though I disagree with his/her pessimism about Nuhu Ribadu's performance. It would be nice to view Nuhu Ribadu's work in context of the Nigerian attitude about corruption.

Note: The total number of people working for Ribadu's commission is less than 500. Never mind the fact that OBJ thinks, but doesn't believe, that corruption is the biggest problem in Nigeria today. If he believed it he would have made the commision 5 times bigger.

 Only years ago, allegations like these will never have gained enough  interest by law enforcement agencies to warrant further inquiries . I think, that Nuhu Ribadu is willing to bring in a cabinet minister for questioning shows his courage and conviction towards riding Nigeria of corruption.

Mr Ribadu's has a very serious weakness in his inability to keep his investigations to himself. He seems to enjoy the limelight that accompanies catching or apprehending  any big fish. This, he must be aware, has the potential of prejudicing judges or may be destroying his case.

The one thing I see Ribadu doing that obviously wrong and counter productive is the sharing of information with the president on matters his is working on. Let's say Obasanjo had a hand in this scandal, what would happen if Ribadu takes the preliminary data to him? We can only speculate. BUt it is easy to see that OBJ may not be positively disposed or neutral towards all cases run through him by Ribadu.

Finally, I caution people to take extreme care when dealing with issues that relate to God. Dan Sokoto, in his exasperation said,
 If i am an honourable member of the nigerian congress or a public official and desirous of exposing corruption, i will attend any such suspicious or controversial meetings say in the senate president house with a mini tape recorder. And i will play it for all nigerians to hear at a press conference....This was what i expected somebody like el-Rufai with his intelligence and zeal of exposing corruption to have done in his meeting with Mantu and Zwingina, instead of his 'Allah' being the witness. What a shame.
Dan Sokoto should remember that in the introduction of aqeedatul wasitiyyah, it says Allah is the best of witnesses.

Allah ya ganar damu gaba daya...... ameen

Offline SAAHIB 92

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The assault on democracy by House members.
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2005, 12:42:30 PM »
.......ALLAH YA SAWAKE  issues like this re not suprisin in nigeria.because those call leaders or elders re nothin......but another affliction of tsunami this time around to nigeria.ALLAH YA kawo mana sauyi mai anfani.[/b]
Radina billahi Rabban,
 Wa bil Islami Dinan,
 Wa bi Muhammadin Nabiyya!"

  ABBAS A YAKASAI

Offline mallamt

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The assault on democracy by House members.
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2005, 07:20:05 PM »
Quote
The one thing I see Ribadu doing that obviously wrong and counter productive is the sharing of information with the president on matters his is working on. Let's say Obasanjo had a hand in this scandal, what would happen if Ribadu takes the preliminary data to him? We can only speculate. BUt it is easy to see that OBJ may not be positively disposed or neutral towards all cases run through him by Ribadu
I can not agree with myadudu more on this particular aspect.  I have been wondering why must Ribadu have to inform the president of his investigations and even take dossiers to the president?  Does this not make it appear that Ribadu has no independence?  Why does Ribadu not take cases to the courts and then the president can be briefed if need be on the case the EFCC has on an individual rather than take the matter to the president first before deciding on prosecution?  I fully agree with myadudu there is something very flawed in the process.  I suppose Ribadu may have to do a little bit more to convince people that he is his own man.  Despite this though I believe we must agree that he (Ribadu) is in a very difficult job.

Offline Ibro2g

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The assault on democracy by House members.
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2005, 08:21:31 PM »
I am for not awarding medals yet

I am for neither Obj nor the senate or reps

I am for a corrupt-free Nija

The truth is, I couldnt figure out Obj's major interest in this outburst other than the popularity report(which he is already getting). So I figured its the best thing Obj has done to this country, not just the N55m outburst, common there are bigger ons out there, but his courage for starting it. Since niether of them is clean, they`ll start bursting their a**es publicly and before they realise it, we musta taken down at least nearly half of em.
I see the reps already have started claiming the executive have brought in some money for bribe siince their first administration, inturn, Your first Class ABU material is also accusing Mantu and some others for requesting N10m from him before they`ll approve him FCT minister. More good news, that money was paid though not by him as he claims, but who did?
It`ll go on and on and they`ll all start to leak out. Thank you Obasanjo, for a courageous step well taken.
Oh, and he mentioned that other Ministeries who did similar offences to dat of education are under investigation. I dont wanna hear investigation, just toss thier A**es to us!
I hope the wake up call for anti corruption has really rang in Nija for good, and that we`ll not let the dogs sleep untill all the burglers are out...Ameen!
Safety and Peace

Offline Ibro2g

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The assault on democracy by House members.
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2005, 08:21:40 PM »
I am for not awarding medals yet

I am for neither Obj nor the senate or reps

I am for a corrupt-free Nija

The truth is, I couldnt figure out Obj's major interest in this outburst other than the popularity report(which he is already getting). So I figured its the best thing Obj has done to this country, not just the N55m outburst, common there are bigger ons out there, but his courage for starting it. Since niether of them is clean, they`ll start bursting their a**es publicly and before they realise it, we musta taken down at least nearly half of em.
I see the reps already have started claiming the executive have brought in some money for bribe siince their first administration, inturn, Your first Class ABU material is also accusing Mantu and some others for requesting N10m from him before they`ll approve him FCT minister. More good news, that money was paid though not by him as he claims, but who did?
It`ll go on and on and they`ll all start to leak out. Thank you Obasanjo, for a courageous step well taken.
Oh, and he mentioned that other Ministeries who did similar offences to dat of education are under investigation. I dont wanna hear investigation, just toss thier A**es to us!
I hope the wake up call for anti corruption has really rang in Nija for good, and that we`ll not let the dogs sleep untill all the burglers are out...Ameen!
Safety and Peace

Offline Dan-Sokoto

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The assault on democracy by House members.
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2005, 10:15:21 PM »
Myadudu wrote:

"Dan Sokoto should remember that in the introduction of aqeedatul wasitiyyah, it says Allah is the best of witnesses."

Myadudu, I am in no doubt that "Allah is the best of witnesses". But you kind of got me below the belt by such a comment as neither did i question that nor implied Allah was not the best of witnesses. But in that particular case, El Rufai's performance to say the least was not impressive and did not serve the purpose. Even though i am not nor do i claim to be versed in Islamic jurisprudence, i clearly know the importance of evidence/shaida or witnesses in Islam. El-Rufai did not provide that. He miserably failed and i truly question his so called intelligence, though i am also aware like i said, that getting As in academics does not translate into wise judgements and intelligence in day to day human affairs. Honestly i never wanted to even react to your surprising comment but with the unfolding events in Nigeria, i felt i should. Honestly what surprised me the most about your comments was how u capitulated from discussing some fundamental issues i raised and ducked under the religious garb of your quoted comment. So i was kind of confused as to whether to follow a religious line of argument or to stick to the main issue.

I have nothing to add to the comments i made before. I still stick by them and like i said, "time will tell" and i am happy things are unfolding and time is telling. Allah ya ba mu tsawon rai - Ameen. Wassalaam.

Dan-Sokoto

Offline alhaji_aminu

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The assault on democracy by House members.
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2005, 02:11:58 AM »
Salam

Maalam Dan sokoto ai nima bana nufin wai you are saying Allah is not the best of witnesses. I cannot fathom a Muslim denying that. What I mean was that in your anger, which I share, against corrupt legislators, you seems to think just swearing in the name of Allah to prove a case is not sufficient.  Infact, in a country like ours where courts are secular, simply swearing by the Quran or affirming the truth is not enough to secure a conviction.

One quick note, DR Shehu Matazu swore today on BBC Hausa that he did not and never received bribe from any person. Ordinarily one should say that is it but I think that is not enough because there are other ways of proving his guilt.  So, this fad of using the Quran, truthfully or otherwise, is somewhat problematic because Nigerian politicians will stop at nothing to get away with 'murder'.

Ina fatan dai dan misunderstanding din reply dinna bai jamaka wata fargabar  shirka ba. I was never intended to do so.

A huta lafiya.

 


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