Nicholas Ugbane, Suleiman Adokwe: Where are they now?

ELEOJO IDACHABA in this piece asks to know where these individuals are after serving the country in various capacities.

Nicholas Ugbane

Nicholas Ugbane once represented the people of Kogi East Senatorial District in the Senate between 2003 and 2011 for two tenures. Until recently when his voice is no longer heard, he was one of the political fathers of the state. For instance, in the days that the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) was the major opposition party in the country, Senator Ugbane and the late Prince Abubakar Audu were the strong pillars of the party in the state. That was why he was able to ride on the wings of the party to the Senate in 2003 at a time the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) held sway in the state and at the centre. In 2007, however, he crossed over from the ANPP to the PDP and secured its ticket for the second time, but failed in his bid to return the third time.

Meanwhile, while he was in the Senate both in his first and second missionary journeys, he was outspoken on many issues in the plenary such that the leadership of the upper chamber nominated him into several committees like public account, Niger Delta, aviation, and INEC. He, however, had a snag on his image when in 2009, his name was mentioned in alleged plan to defraud the federal government to the tune of N10 billion – a fund meant for rural electrification which appeared to have put a nail on his political career. This is because until recent times, he was a regular guest of the anti-corruption agencies, the reason for which every of his aspirations to become politically relevant had often hit the wall. Although till date, he has not been found guilty by any competent court, but his career has not been the same again. Painfully, for Ugbane, while his ordeal with the anti-graft agencies lasted, his immediate past constituency, the National Assembly, curiously included his name among senators involved in corruption-related offences on its website.

In a reaction, Senator Ugbane through his media aide, Abel Ada Musa, wanted NASS to update its record by removing his name from its data base of senators indicted for corruption. According to him, “Despite the decision of two separate court sittings in Abuja discharging him of allegation bothering on corruption in the two cases and no appeal pending, Senator Ugbane has continued to be an unhappy man. This is because the records and website of the National Assembly where he served as a senator in the 5th and 6th Senates has continued to reflect the pendency of the said cases. We urge the National Assembly and particularly the Senate to update its record and website to reflect the current state of affairs as regards the criminal allegation against him.” Since then, no one has heard anything about this ex-Kogistate-born lawmaker.

Suleiman Adokwe

Suleiman Adokwe was elected into the Senate to represent the people of Nasarawa South Constituency in 2007 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He is from Alago nation, but of the Idomoid extraction. Prior to his stewardship in the Senate, he had worked in Nasarawa state civil service for years and rose to the position of permanent secretary before he retired. Between 2003 and 2006, he was appointed into the cabinet of Abdullahi Adamu where he served as the commissioner for information. In the Senate, he was on the committees on services, security & intelligence, Navy, national planning, and capital markets. Although said to be a brilliant lawmaker, but he never sponsored a bill on the floor of the Senate, according to a mid-term report on senators by a major media house way back in 2009, but he is a supporter of labor unions because, according to him, “They can offer constructive criticism of the government as long as their leaders avoid corruption and support democracy within the unions.”

In 2011, he was re-elected, but lost the bid to return for the third time in 2015. As a result of this, he went to the election petition tribunal sitting in Lafia, but the tribunal dismissed his petition for lacking in merit. Since then, this vibrant ex-lawmaker appears to have maintained a low profile such that no one knows where he could be now.

Abubakar Mahdi

Abubakar Mahdi once represented the people of Borno South Senatorial District in the Senate in 1992 on the platform of the now defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP) and served as chairman, Committee on Commerce and Industry. He was also elected into the 4th Senate in 1999 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and served meritoriously as chairman, Committee on Foreign Affairs, member of the committee on security & intelligence, member committee on power & steel and Federal Capital Territory. Senator Mahdi is said to be a consummate administrator, distinguished politician and astute businessman who demonstrates exceptional integrity in leadership both in corporate and public service opportunities. He holds the traditional title of Tafidan Gwoza, a member of Gwoza Emirate Council and a notable king- maker. He played a significant leadership role in shaping contemporary Borno state politics at the inception of the 4th Republic when democracy newly returned to the country. At a point, he was the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM), the political platform founded by the late Gen. Shehu Musa Yar’Adua. The platform remains relevant and has continued to contribute in shaping Nigeria’s political landscape till date. However, not much has been heard about him again.

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