Mr Speaker Rt. Hon Dimeji Sabur Bankole alleged persecution when visiting Nigerians diaspora rightly questioned why he has continued to cling to reins of power despite serious cases of corruption brought against him. Initially, Mr Speaker had alleged that a religious agenda is being perpetrated against him, now it is politics even though all the allegedly suspended progressives are PDP members like him.
On 25th June this year, an anti-graft agency the ICPC publicly stated that Mr Speaker is being probed over 3 corruption cases including the N5.2 billion Rural Electrification scam in which he allegedly employed his family members and cronies as contractors.
This is a fallout of the same $16bn power probe by the House in 2008 which he claimed stepped on the toes of many powerful people in the country. Is this not the same Hon Dimeji Bankole that has been running pillar to post begging the same powerful people to help him save his job? The motion for investigation of the N64bn Second Abuja Airport Runway contract, which led to its cancellation was actually sponsored by Hon Dino Melaye. Why would the same person who claimed to be saving public funds supervise brutality against his colleagues for simply asking him to explain how he spent N9b capital allocations?
According to Speaker Dimeji Bankole, members of the Progressive-Minded Legislators, forged documents just to ridicule him on the N2.3b car scam. The EFCC report on the car scam was ďauthoritativelyĒ quoted in the media last month stating that over N530m was found in the Deputy Speakerís bank account and that he confessed in writing that it was the proceeds of the car scam which he shared with Mr Speaker and other principal officers. Did the EFCC rely on forged documents too? Why is it that none of us has been charged with forgery? Can he say the documents we submitted on the Television, photocopiers, torchlight etcetera are also forged?
While Hon Patricia Etteh stepped aside for her matter be considered, in considering the report of the N2.3b car scam submitted to the House by its Committee on Ethics and Privileges, the Deputy Speaker Hon Usman Nafada presided over a cause in which himself and all other principal officers are accused. The House Committee on Ethics and Privileges, a Special Committee of the House had exhibited unethical conduct by publicly calling Lagos lawyer who initiated investigation over the N2.3b car scam, Barr Festus Keyamo unprintable names and almost lynching him in their haste to give their appointers, the House leadership a clean bill of health.
Now we know better from media report that the same leadership which was cleared by the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges has since been indicted. Against this backdrop therefore, we know precisely what the Committee will eventually recommend in their report of investigations into the N9b Capital votes that is if they have indeed been so mandated by a resolution of the House.
Isnít it disgusting to hear the Chairman House Committee on Ethics and Privileges Hon Sani Saleh Minjibir alleging that suspended progressives did not exhaust the internal mechanism availed them by the rules of the House? The Committee Chairman knows fully well that no one can be suspended under any rule of the House without first being heard. The House cannot reduce a criminal allegation involving the unaccounted expenditure of a whooping N9b from public purse as its internal affairs.
If it is an internal affairs, why did they charge Hon Austin Nwachukwu and 3 of us to a magistrate court? It is very clear that to all discerning minds that how the relevant agencies of government handle this Bankole-Saga could make or mar the anti-corruption credentials of the current administration.
Bitrus B. Kaze
Member, House of Representatives
(Jos South-Jos East Federal Constituency, Plateau State)
Member of the PML
RE: G8 Failure: Lessons for Africa
Africa is a continent full of resources - human, minerals, raw materials, agricultural etc. As the article pointed out, G8 dependence was good for a short measure.
It is up to African leaders and people to leverage on their resources to start developing indigenous solutions. There is lot of political goodwill, transparency and accountability required to make this happen. There are shining examples such as FIFA World Cup 2010 organized in South Africa, mobile money transfer service such as M-PESA and ZAP by Safaricom and Zain in Kenya and agricultural revolution in Malawi.
Solution lies in enhancement of technologies, putting up support structures, capital injection, going for economies of scale and knowing the producer and consumer rights to generate equitable wealth which trickles down to grassroots.
There are some groupings such as COMESA, SADC and recently formed East Africa Union, which could take leverage of this and reduce the dependence on G8.
Ravinder Paul Singh,
Founder of Kulwant Advisory.
RE: Income Tax: Uganda Must Scrap Off PAYE
This is what I have been thinking about for a long time. I always asked if PAYE is necessary in a country like Uganda where most enterprises are private. Moreover it is a tax paid only by 4% of the population. Please UNCCI push this idea I'm behind you. To hell with PAYE, Ugandans need to invest that money privately.
RE: White Migrant Workers in Kenya:X-pats or Illegal Migrants?
If you have ever tried to do the same in the USA or Europe, the restrictions are even more choking to foreigners or students trying to work. This is how governments make sure their citizens get the first opportunity before foreigners can take a job.
RE: The Benefits of the East Africa Federation to the Youth
This is a good article that triggers and changes the mode of thinking of the youth. Please may I know the benefits of this common market to the Kenyan entreprenuers.