Nobody Can Suspend Me From Senate, Marafa Vows; Wants Saraki Suspended InsteadFeatured, Latest News, News Sunday, February 21st, 2016
Ayodele Afolabi, Abuja
Crisis not yet averted in Senate as Senator Kabiru Marafa (APC Zamfara Central), whose case was transferred to Ethics Committee for allegedly disparaging the Senate as an institution, in a recent interview, published by one of the national dailies, has boasted that nobody could suspend him from the upper Legislative Chamber.
The Senate had last week Tuesday, mandated its Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to investigate Marafa’s alleged offensive remarks against the Senate and by extension , the National Assembly in the said interview, where he amongst others, kicked against N4.7billion car purchase plan by the 8th Senate and secrecy of accounts of the entire National Assembly.
The Committee headed by Senator Samuel Anyanwu (PDP Imo East), was further mandated by the Senate to come up with recommendations on action to be taken against Marafa within a week, which expires tomorrow (Monday).
But Marafa in an explosive interview with journalists in Abuja at the weekend, on the likelihood of what may happen tomorrow at Senate’s plenary, vowed that nobody in the Senate could suspend him.
He said he had read through the interview over and over again, without seing any offensive remarks he allegedly made against the Senate and by extension, the National Assembly as revered institutions.
“Nobody, I repeat, Nobody in that Senate, can suspend me over those remarks I made in the said interview, rather, it is the Senate President, Bukola Saraki , that should be suspended by the Senate for turning things upside down within the last eight months from forgery of Standing Orders to illegally increasing the number of Standing committees in the Senate from 57 to 65 with attendant violation of ranking rules in their compositions and above all, refusing to resign as Senate President, in the face of trial on corruption charges at the Code of Conduct Tribunal ( CCT) and invariably battering the image of the Senate.
“He should remember that when the issue first came up in August or September last year, we didn’t tell him to resign and thus, cannot by whatever means now, gag us and gag our mouths; the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria gives us the right to say our opinion, to air our views and nobody can deny us that one”, he thundered.
He added that even the controversies rocking the 2016 budget in the Senate since January are in very logical ways, linked to the pending trial of Saraki at the CCT through the aides of fifth columnists shouting at different times that Budget was missing, budget has been doctored, budget was padded and can no longer be passed as earlier planned.
His words: “Honestly speaking if am to comment on the controversy that has been trailing the 2016 budget in the Senate, I will say it is all the work of the 5th columnists there. You remember we woke up after 15 days or also of the receipt of the budget in the National Assembly. We woke up one day and the Senate President just came and said there is no budget, that the budget is stolen embarrassing everybody, but the following day the Speaker said is not stolen our own is here.
“Next, they said the budget is doctored, next they said the budget is padded, next they said there are discrepancies all over the place, we knew how they came into the leadership of the National Assembly of the Senate. Was it a coincidence that the issue of padding and everything just came up after the Supreme Court said go and face your trial?
“Suddenly, we started hearing that we cannot pass the budget as we promised because there are discrepancies and so on and so forth. In a nutshell, all the noise about the budget are all about this issue of corruption trial or CCT trial that is all, no more no less”
Marafa however promised that as somebody who has the highest regard for the Senate as an institution, he would appear before the Ethics committee when re- invited.
He disclosed that the committee actually invited him to appear before it last Thursday but couldn’t , on account of his being away in Kaduna joining Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi ( APC Kaduna North) in the mourning of his late mother.
“I am ready to face the committee and I am going to face the committee anytime they fix another date. They wrote me a letter or they wrote a letter to my office in my absence last week but I was not around then.
“I responded to the letter upon which they fixed Thursday last week for the sitting but we were still in Kaduna then and in fact, sent them a text that I would want them to fix another date any day from Monday, which will be 22nd February 2016, is convenient for me and I equally instructed my Special Assistant to reply the letter they sent and to also seek for another day from Monday.
“I again called the clerk to find out if they have fixed another date but till this moment I am talking to you, they have not and anytime they do so, I will face the committee for one reason, just one reason, that is, my respect for the institution of National Assembly or the Senate”, he explained.
But the Committee members according to him, would be in for serious shocker from him as he would catalogue to them , all the misdeeds the leadership of the Senate under Bukola Saraki has perpetuated within the last eight months, part of which the committee itself had been used to do like the futile attempt of trying to rubbish the CCT Chairman, Danladi Umar through a petition brought by a network owned by a serving Senator who is even a member of the committee, knowing full well that Saraki is standing trial before the man.
He described Senator Hamman Misau (APC Bauchi Central), the Senator he raised the point of order, upon which the Senate resolved to investigate him as somebody who does not know what he is doing.
According to him,” Senator Misau like some other Senators currying favour from Saraki, is like a policeman posted to a juicy check point by his Divisional Police Officer (DPO) and in this case, the Senate President and must do everything possible to massage his ego at all times, so as not to be posted elsewhere, because under Saraki, Senate has more or less been turned into Government House where some Senators are ready to play the role of commissioners”.
His words: ” He (Hamman Misau), is a bloody new comer that doesn’t even know the Senate, doesn’t know the workings of the Senate who sees the Senate as a Police post and he sees the committee as a roadblock and the Senate President as the DPO that will send or post him to one of the lucrative roadblocks and that he would make maybe money there otherwise, he wouldn’t have been doing what he is doing.
“Like I said in that interview he has turned the place upside down. You carry somebody that retired yesterday as Police Superintendent or Assistant Superintendent of Police; you say he is chairman, Senate committee on Navy. It is an insult. Are you saying experience do not count? Order 3, 1 to 4 must be followed …”
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