Four hundred and sixty-nine lawmakers across two chambers. The National Assembly is indeed an assemblage of Nigerians from all walks of life. Against this backdrop, it is clear that it would be difficult to identify any legislative year at the National Assembly where one or two lawmakers were involved in a scandal.
In this episode, we highlight some major scandals involving sitting members of parliament. As is common with lawmakers, many of these scandals border on the arrest and persecution of Nigerian lawmakers in the Senate
Organ Harvesting: Senator Ekweremadu arrested
The lawmaker representing Enugu West Senatorial District, Ike Ekweremadu, has been a trending topic for the wrong reason since July 2022
Fresh from the controversy surrounding his governorship ambition, under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the three-time Deputy President of the Senate Ike Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice Nwanneka Ekweremadu were arrested in the United Kingdom for allegedly bringing a child to the UK for organ harvesting.
The UK Police say the charges followed an investigation by the Metropolitan Police’s Specialist Crime Team and gave some details of the accused. Senator Ekweremadu is being charged under the Modern Slavery Legislation in May 2022.
Meanwhile, a Federal High Court in Abuja on November 4 2022, gave permission to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to temporarily seize 40 properties traced to Senator Ekweremadu after hearing an ex-parte application filed by the EFCC.
According to a statement by Afeez Mustapha, an investigator with EFCC, who deposed to an affidavit in support of the commission’s application, disclosed that the former Deputy Senate President was being investigated for money laundering.
EFCC invade Senator Okorocha Abuja Residence
On the 24th of May 2022, operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (INEC) invaded the Abuja residence of former Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha and arrested him after a siege lasting hours.
Doors and Plaster of Paris (POP) ceiling were destroyed before they gained entrance to arrest the former Imo State Governor accused by the commission of jumping administrative bail. They also said he has failed to honour several invitations by the Commission to clear up grey areas in the case against him.
The anti-graft agency said its operatives invaded the Abuja residence of a Senator representing Imo West Senatorial District because he jumped bail and refused to accept court processes from the commission.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had charged the former Imo governor on January 31 2022, for allegedly conspiring with others, including an All Progressives Congress politician and five companies, to steal N2.9 billion of public funds.
Corruption: Akwa Ibom Senator bags 42 years in prison
The Federal High Court in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, sentenced Senator Bassey Akpan to 42 years in prison for corruption.
Akpan, who is also the governorship candidate of the Young Progressive Party (YPP) in the state, was being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commissíon (EFCC).
The Akwa Ibom North East Senator was sentenced on 2nd December 2022 by Justice Agatha Okeke of the Federal High Court on a six-count charge bordering on money laundering and receipt of exotic cars worth N204 million.
Budget Padding Scandal
Some members of Nigeria’s National Assembly had in January 2022 accused the leadership of the two legislative chambers of padding the 2022 national budget for personal benefits.
President Muhammadu Buhari, after signing the 2022 Appropriation Bill into law, while saying there were projects inappropriately inserted in the budget that affected the amounts appropriated for his administration’s developmental project.
Reports said some lawmakers have alleged that the leadership of the two chambers and members of their respective Appropriation Committees were involved in the padding as direct beneficiaries of the inserted projects.
President of the Senate scandalously lose bid to return as senator
The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, was delved a big blow after losing grip of the Yobe North APC Senatorial Primaries ticket.
This followed the refusal of Bashir Machina to step down for him, leading to fireworks of litigations.
Senator Lawan, who represents Yobe North Senatorial District in the Senate, on June 8, contested and lost his bid to secure the APC Presidential ticket at the party’s national convention, where Senator Bola Tinubu emerged as the winner. The President of the Senate was initially touted as the party’s consensus candidate of the party, but 13 Northern Governors kicked against the idea of retaining power in the North.