Tension in Senate as Marafa Shuns Probe PanelFeatured, Latest News, News Monday, February 22nd, 2016
Ayodele Afolabi, Abuja
Uneasy calm has enveloped the Senate as Senator Kabiru Marafa (APC Zamfara Central) shunned the Senate panel directed to probe his alleged disparaging remarks against the Senate and by extension, the National Assembly in a recent interview published by one of the national dailies.
The Senate had last week Tuesday, upon submissions made by Senators Haman Isa Misau (APC Bauchi Central) and Mathew Urhogide (PDP Edo South), mandated its Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petition, to investigate Marafa on alleged despicable remarks he made against the Senate in the interview and report back to it today.
While Marafa was absent at the committee’s sitting on Monday, the committee insisted that it would submit its report Tuesday on the floor of the senate with high possibility of recommending for his suspension based on evidential submissions further made against him by Senator Urhogide who served as the Chief petitioner in the absence of Senator Misau.
Aside tabling national dailies from February 7, to February 17, 2016, where Marafa’s alleged despicable comments against the Senate, it’s leadership and fellow Senators, were published, Urhogide prayed the committee, to make Marafa face the full wrath of his action in accordance with the rules of the senate.
According to him, Marafa acted in clandestine manner with the former President Olusegun Obasanjo in portraying the National Assembly in bad light on allegation of corruption by saying whatever Obasanjo said in his letter to the National Assembly early this month was right.
He said: “After going through the interview, the first thing that was very clear was that my own colleague was acting in tandem with the former President on spurious allegation of corruption against the National Assembly and in particular, the Senate as far as the issue of N4.7billion car purchase project is concerned.
‘He had actually acted in that manner with the former president by saying that ‘I think whatever chief obasanjo is saying is right and i support him’. I think there are two meanings to this I think ‘whatever’ chief obasanjo is saying meaning that the national assembly is corrupt and it stinks
“Therefore, I believe my colleague should be called to come and explain how the national assembly and the senate stinks, how we are greedy, how we are corrupt. since I come to this senate all the exercise that i have taken part in there is no man that of course that has not been able to take my personality and integrity and no one has called my integrity to question.
“Marafa has no doubt joined the former President in bringing the Senate and by extension, the National Assembly to public disrepute and should be accordingly made to take responsibility for his action”.
The committee’s Chairman, Samuel Anyanwu (PDP Imo East), said after Urhogide’ submission, that of the defendant (Marafa) should follow, but when he asked the clerk, Freedom Osolo, on whether Marafa was around or not, he said no.
Osolo explained to the committee members which had only two APC senators in attendance, i.e, Senators Binta Garba Marshi (Adamawa North) and Mohammed Shittu Ubale (Jigawa Central). that he had telephone conversion with Marafa yesterday morning on the need for his appearance but shunned him by declaring to him that he had no evidence of proper invitation for him.
A submission Marafa himself later corroborated when asked by journalists on why he absented himself from the sitting.
According to the embattled senator, he would attend the hearing of the committee any time he is properly invited, vowing that the Committee has no reason whatsoever to recommend for his suspension as he will never accede to that in anyway.
But the Committee Chairman categorically declared that report on investigation on Marafa would be unfailingly submitted to the senate today at its plenary session.
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