The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership has berated the leadership of the Nigerian Senate led by Ahmed Lawan for embarking on a solidarity visit to Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, a former governor of Abia State and Chief Whip of the upper legislative chamber, following his release from Kuje Correctional Centre.
In a statement by its Coordinator, Administration and Programmes, Tola Oresanwo, Chairman of CACOL, Mr Debo Adeniran, said, “It would be recalled that Kalu had been sentenced to 12 years imprisonment after he was initially found guilty of conspiring and diverting N7.65bn from the Abia State coffers during his tenure as governor of the state.
"The two-time governor and two others were found guilty of the N7.65bn fraud, in an amended 39 counts which was filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
"But on the flip side of it, the Supreme Court, in its verdict delivered on May 8, 2020, held that Idris gave the judgment without jurisdiction. This amounted to the judgment being annulled on the ground of technicalities.
“The visit by the senate delegation headed by the Senate President is a charade, travesty and a mockery on the intelligence of common Nigerians. It shows that despite the horrible situation the country has found herself, due principally to good leadership that has eluded the country from independence, the leadership of the Senate are not bothered by the menace of corruption that has stagnated the destiny of this great country. By their action, they have brought Nigeria to the spotlight again as a country whose leaders does not only celebrate corruption but are “fantastically corrupt” thereby making Nigeria a laughing stock among the comity of nations”
“It is regrettable that while some of us are perturbed and worrying about the Supreme Court judgment and its attendant implications for the legal jurisprudence and the fight against corruption in Nigeria, the leadership of the Senate is not in any way concerned and is more at home with felicitating and celebrating with the beneficiary of the Supreme Court Judgment.
“We found it amusing that the leadership of the second arm of government would leave their statutory duties and embark on a wild goose chase in the name of a “solidarity visit” to a man that was accused of stealing his state dry when he was a governor of the state.
“We therefore call for an explanation from the leadership of the Senate to let Nigerians know what they set out to achieve with the visit to Orji Uzor Kalu. We also call on them to always see their position as the representatives of the people whom they would have to report to at one time or the other. They should also note that their actions or inactions are being recorded on the pages of history and that even generations yet unborn would read about all what they are doing now."