In these days of stock-taking, one is bound to look at the records of some former public office holders for the sake of posterity. This week, ELEOJO IDACHABA looks at how these gentlemen fared while in public service.
Nicholas Ugbane once represented the people of Kogi-east senatorial district in the Senate between 2003 and 2011. He served for two consecutive tenures. Senator Ugbane, according to records, is one of the political fathers of the state at creation owing to his influence in the days of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) that 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 such that the duo were able to capture the state for the party at a time that Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was in power. That was why he was able to ride on the wings of the party to the Senate in 2003.
In 2007, he crossed over from ANPP to the PDP, this was when the fortunes of ANPP began to dwindle at the centre; thereafter, he secured PDP’s ticket for the second time, but failed in his bid to return the third time. While he was in the Senate, both during his first and second journeys, he was outspoken on many issues at plenary such that the leadership of the upper chamber nominated him into several committees like public account, Niger Delta, aviation, INEC, among others.
Till date, Senator Ugbane has not been found guilty by any competent court, as a proof that those allegations were mere trump-up charges, but painfully for him, while his ordeal with the anti-graft agencies lasted, the National Assembly where he served his people meritoriously wrongly included his name among senators involved in corruption-related offences on its website. In reaction to this insensitivity, Senator Ugbane through his media aide, Abel Ada Musa, wrote NASS requesting it to update its record by removing Ugbane’s name from the database of senators indicted for corruption.
He said: “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, Sen 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 Senate 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.” For a long while now, this ex-lawmaker has continued to maintain low profile as he throttles between Egume, his community in Dekina local government area of the state, Lokoja and Abuja, but has not been involved in any serious issue of politics.
Senator 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 Idomoid extraction. Prior to his stewardship in the Senate, he had excellent public service career having 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. However, while in the Senate, he was on the committees on services, security & intelligence, Navy, national planning, capital markets, among others.
Senator Adokwe was a supporter of labour 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 as the election petition matter lasted, he 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 former lawmaker has maintained a low-profile such that no one knows where he could be presently.
Ex-lawmaker Abubakar Sodangi was elected senator to represent the people of Nasarawa-west senatorial district in 1999 and got reelected in 2003 and 2007, respectively. He is one of the founding members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and remained a member until he dumped the party that ushered him to prominence and moved on to the All Progressives Congress (APC) following the victory of the latter in the 2015 general elections. A trained lawyer, he had practised law before he joined politics, no wonder while in the Senate, he was appointed to committees on judiciary, human rights and legal matters, interior, foreign affairs and and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). In a mid-term evaluation of senators in May 2009 which was usually done by ThisDay Newspaper, it reported that Senator Sodangi, a year before the evaluation, never sponsored any bill in the upper chamber, but had worked hard as chairman of the committee probing activities and irregularities in the FCT. For a long while now, he has not been able to get his feet back into mainstream politics, but has been into private businesses especially his first address which is law. Unconfirmed report, however, has it that he is the chairman, governing board of a private radio station in Abuja.No tags for this post.