…Says Petition is baseless, lacks merit, time wasting
By Henry Umoru
THE Senate has thrown away a petition against the Abia State nominee to the Federal Character Commission, FCC, Henry Ogbulogo, describing the action of the petitioners as baseless and with lack of merit.
According to the Senate, the petitioners by coming up with such a petition, only succeeded in wasting the time, the Lawmakers would have expended in carrying out other more pressing and serious legislative duties.
Consequently, members of Senator Patrick Akinyelure, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ondo Central led Senate Committee on Ethics, Priviledges and Public Petitions cleared the nominee.
The nominee was petitioned by the Abia State All Progressives Congress on grounds that it would be a “negation of the principle of fairplay, social justice and equity”, having come from the zone that produced FCC board membership in the past.
The petition dated 4th May, 2020 which was signed by the State party Chairman, Chief Donatus Nwankpa and 21 other Executive Committee members averred inter alia that the nominee comes from the same local government Area with the Minister representing Abia State in the Federal Executive Council.
According to the APC petitioner, the office of Federal Character Commission requires effective, objective and equitable representation, adding that the nominee was not qualified for such a position as they alleged that he emerged against the principle of fairness, equity, and just representation, adding that he will not be able to give them what he does not have.
The nominee, a member of the same party, APC alongside the petitioners, hails from Isuikwuato Local government, North Senatorial District of Abia State.
Part of the petition stated: “Hon. Henry Ogbulogo is from Abia North Senatorial district where the immediate past occupants of the said office, one Engr. Iboko Imo Iboko came from.
“It is on record that the two past members of the Commission that represented the State has either come from Abia South or Abia North Senatorial district, thereby denying the Abia Central Senatorial district its right of so represented.”
In his defence when he appeared before the Committee yesterday, Ogbulogo who described the issues raised by the petitioners as not on integrity or any legal or ethical ground, but solely on sentiments, said, ” notwithstanding that Isuikwuato Local government produced 5/5 during the last general election from Presidential to State House of Assembly.
” It is shocking and surprising that the petitioners could write such petition against me despite my hard work before and during the election to ensure that Mr. President and all APC Candidates were elected during the last general election with evidence of overwhelming victory from my Ward, Local government and Senatorial zone.
“The Petitioners are aware that Abia North where Isuikwuato falls under is the stronghold of APC in Abia State. It beats my imagination as to what constitutes “capacity, exposure and political maturity” referred to by the Petitioners where the Chairman of the party, Donatus Nwankpa and other petitioners, could not win their polling units, unlike I did. In any case, the FCC is not a political party, it is a Commission created to promote National Unity.”
Earlier in his opening remarks, Chairman of the Committee, Senator Akinyelure urged the nominee to defend the petition against him and state reasons he should not be rejected.
According to him, the petition was written by his own party executives, a situation he said it would be taken seriously.
In his contribution after the nominee spoke, a member of the Committee, Senator James Manager, PDP, Delta South explained that the grounds with which the nominee was petitioned was not injurious to the Constitution, asserting that as a Nigerian, Mr. President has the discretion to appoint him, adding, ” this petition does not merit coming to the Senate, we have other serious things to do.”
Also in his contribution, Senator Obinna Ogba, PDP, Ebonyi Central reasoned that the petition should be ignored as it lacked merit, adding that President Muhammadu Buhari never made any mistake in coming up with the nominee to represent Abia State at the FCC.
On his part, Senator Bassey Albert Akpan, PDP, Akwa Ibom North East simply said, ” the petition should be thrown out.”
The nominee was then asked to take a bow and go.
Meanwhile, the Chairman Senate Committee on Federal Character and Intergovernmental Affairs, Senator Danjuma La’ah, PDP, Kaduna South on Thursday laid the report on other nominees who have already been screened.
All the thirty- six States including the Federal Capital Territory have a representative.