Senator accuses colleague of poor performance

Nigerian Senate
The Chamber of the Nigerian Senate

The vice chairman of the Senate committee on army, Abdullahi Danbaba, has accused the committee’s chairman, George Akume, of lack of performance.

Mr Danbaba reported his colleague to the Senate on Thursday when he raised a point of order stating that his committee has not been performing as a result of leadership.

Mr Danbaba’s complaints come barely 24 hours after the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, queried some ad hoc committees for delaying their reports.

He had given 14 ad hoc committees one week to submit their reports.

Speaking on Order 14 and 15 of the Senate Standing Rules, the lawmaker said his committee which was constituted over three years ago, had not evaluated any army projects.

“We were all elected by our constituents to come ad represent them here and also by extension represent the entire Nigeria. Fundamentally, we are supposed to legislate and to support our constituents and also undertake oversight with respect to projects that are being executed by the executive arm of government,” he said.

“I want to say that a committee that I am a vice (chairman) which has been constituted over three years has not been actually performing as a result of leadership. The committee, since its inception has not oversighted (sic) any army project. In fact, the only oversight that has been said to be oversight was our visit to the army headquarters in 2016.

“Beyond that, we have never done or undertaken any proper oversight with respect to the activities of the Nigerian army. In fact, the Senate is completely detached from the Nigerian army. We in the Senate do not know what the Nigerian army is actually doing,” he said.

The lawmaker also blamed Mr Akume for the delay of a draft bill and called on the Senate Committee on Ethics and Privileges to investigate the conduct of the committee.

“I want to say this again, there was a draft bill that was referred to about two years ago. That draft bill is still lying down on the table of the clerk of the secretariat of the committee because the leadership of the committee has not been able to give direction on what to do with the bill.

“So, in view of all these anomalies, I hereby call for the committee on ethics and privileges to ask to investigate as to the conduct of the committee and why the committee leadership is allowed to stand as it is because the name of the Senate is going to be brought to disrepute.”

Mr Akume was absent at the plenary.

Wading in, Mr Saraki suggested that the Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan, meet with the chairman and members of the committee.

“I know that for you to have brought this matter up, it must be something that is of great concern to you. What I will consider is, let the leader of the Senate meet with the chairman and the vice chairman and members and report to us on some of these points that have been raised. The committee is a very strategic committee, as such we must be seeing to play a role,” he said.

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QueenEsther Iroanusi covers the National Assembly as a junior reporter for PREMIUM TIMES. She has a degree in French. Twitter: @QueenExtha


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