Tuesday, February 23, 2016 5:45 am
Senator Kabiru Marafa, (APC, Zamfara Central) on Monday, failed to appear before the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, to answer to allegations of misguided statements aimed at disparaging the National Assembly.
A petition against the senator was penned by two senators, Isah Misau (APC-Bauchi Central) and Matthew Urhoghide (PDP-Edo South).
He however failed to appear before the committee in spite of a reminder.
The senators accused Marafa of making comments and publications in national dailies that demeaned the reputation of the National Assembly.
One of the petitioners, Urhoghide, while answering questions from the committee, said that Marafa in several interviews with some national dailies claimed that the National Assembly was corrupt.
He expressed disappointment over such accusations against a reputable arm of government saddled with the onerous tasks of ensuring good governance in the country.
According to him, Marafa made statements that infringed on the rights of the lawmakers and the legislature at large.
“On Jan. 27, the electronic media was inundated with accusation by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and I saw it as an affront.
“That was because facts were misplaced and I felt demeaned because of his deliberate attempt to malign us.
“I was not bordered about Obasanjo’s claim, but on Feb 7, Sen. Marafa granted an interview and what he said are in tandem with the claims of Obasanjo.
“I don’t think the 8th senate has expressed any element of greed or recklessness, these are not friendly terms, they are despicable.
“So, he (Marafa) should be called to explain how corrupt the senate is. The committee should ask him why he colluded with Obasanjo to bring the reputation of the senate down,’’ he said.
Urhoghide said that Marafa made several unguided statements about the Senate, including the constitution of standing committees, selection of new senators as heads of committees and proposed purchase of vehicles among others.
He urged the senate to invoke its Standing Rule by punishing Marafa to serve as deterrent and forestall recurrence of similar statements from other lawmakers.
The Chairman of the Committee, Sen. Samuel Anyanwu, said that the committee would deliberate on the issue and report to the senate on Tuesday for the appropriate action to be taken.
“I got a letter dated Feb. 17 from Sen. Marafa, signed by his legislative aide, indicating that the senator was out of town to condole with Sen. Suleiman Hunkuyi, who lost his mother.
“The letter further indicated that the senator would be back at the weekend and would be ready for hearing any time this week, ‘’ he said.
The Committee immediately went into a closed door session to further deliberate on the petition and agree on a decision.