On February 25, 2023, Nigerians elected lawmakers who will represent their various federal constituencies across the country to occupy the 10th National Assembly.
One hundred and nine (109) Senators and 360 House of Representatives members were elected to engage in the businesses of the 10th National Assembly.
The executive arm of the Nigerian government would be run by former Lagos State Governor, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who did not say much about fighting corruption like the outgoing government of President Muhammadu Buhari that wore the fight against corruption like a toga.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, is the agency set up to prosecute acts of corruption by any public officer.
Politicians do anything within their powers to stop the EFCC coming after them, either during or after their tenures in government.
The incoming Senate has several members who are already facing corruption charges. Some of these lawmakers are even contesting for one leadership position or another in the Senate.
As their inauguration draws closer, newsmen takes a look at the members-elect who are facing corruption cases.
Gabriel Suswam, who is currently the Senator representing Benue North East district in the 9th National Assembly, is one of the returning Senators entangled with corruption cases. The former governor of Benue State of the PDP, is being probed over some of his activities as the number one citizen of Benue. Suswan is facing 32 charges brought against him by the Federal Government.
Suswan and his former Commissioner for Finance, Omadachi Oklobia and then Accountant of the State House, Mrs Janet Aluga – were accused of diverting N9.79b – part of which was meant for Police Reform Programme and Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment programme while he was state governor from 2007 – 2015. They allegedly diverted the money while he was governor – between 2012 and 2015.
Orji Uzor Kalu
In December 2019, Kalu was sentenced to 12 years in prison for N7.65 billion fraud in his first year in the Senate. In an amended 39 counts charge, Kalu was accused by the EFCC of conspiring and diverting over N7 billion from the coffers of the state. However, the Supreme Court nullified his conviction and ordered a retrial. The former Abia Governor, who is a returning Senator for the 10th Assembly, had been accused of stealing and mismanaging funds belonging to Abia State during his days as governor between 1999 and 2007. He is being prosecuted alongside his former Commissioner for finance, Ude Udeogo, and his company, Slok Nigeria Limited.
The Chairman of Capital Oil and Gas Limited, Ifeanyi Ubah, was elected into the 9th National Assembly as Senator representing Anambra South Senatorial District on the platform of the Young Progressive Party (YPP). He is a returning senator of the 10th National Assembly. Ubah is being investigated by the EFCC for allegedly receiving N43.29bn through the petroleum subsidy scheme in 2011.
Abba Moro, the former minister of interior and a chieftain of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, is the lawmaker representing Benue South senatorial zone and a returning senator of the 10th Assembly. Moro took the place of former Senate President David Mark at the Senate. He is currently being investigated for alleged fraud over a clumsy Nigeria Immigration Service recruitment exercise, in 2014. The exercise led to a stampede that left 20 people dead. Moro is also facing a corruption trial in his role in an alleged $2.5 million fraud, involving missing application fees.
The former governor of Sokoto State, Aliyu Wamakko was reelected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the last general elections. He is returning to the senate to represent Sokoto North senatorial district. The lawmaker, as the EFCC announced in April 2018, is under investigation over alleged theft of public funds and money laundering totaling N15b. The former Governor, however, denied the claims by the anti-graft agency.
Nwaoboshi is a returning lawmaker. The Delta North representative is one of the returning senators facing corruption cases. The PDP chieftain was arraigned by the EFCC for alleged fraud of N322 million in 2018 along with two firms on charges bordering on money laundering and conspiracy. A Judge of the Federal High Court, Mohammed Idris had on April 25, 2018, ruled that the Delta lawmaker should be remanded in prison. He got bail two days later. The trial is still ongoing.