The senate on Thursday directed its committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to investigate the Vice Chairman of the Committee on Employment, Labour and Productivity, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, over her alleged criticisms of the red chamber and its leadership in the media.
The action was sequel to a motion raised by the Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN) under Order 43 (Privileges) of the Senate Standing Orders (2011, as amended).Ndoma-Egba drew the attention of his colleagues to some newspaper publications on the interview granted by Tinubu where she reportedly condemned “the rot” in the Senate.
The senator who represents Lagos Central Senatorial District, had allegedly said that the actions of the Senate leadership was always sympathetic to the Peoples Democratic Party-led executive arm of government. Ndoma-Egba said, “I would have brought this matter on the first day of our resumption but for respect for the memory of our departed colleague, Senator Dahiru Awaisu Kuta.
“Today, therefore, is my earliest opportunity to raise it. “There’s a story carried in Thisday of June 5, 2014 attributed to a distinguished colleague of ours, Senator Oluremi Tinubu and the headline is this: Activities in the Senate are depressing and I will read with your kind permission.“
Part of the story reads, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, representing Lagos Central Senatorial District took a swipe at the leadership of the Senate, accusing it of poor performance.
“Tinubu, at a media parley, to mark her third anniversary in the Senate said activities in the upper legislative chamber were depressing because its leadership had failed to address a lot of pressing national issues for partisan reasons.“She accused the Senate leadership of pandering to the wishes of the executive arm of government which is led by the PDP. I will just stop here.“
There’s another story in the Daily Trust of Monday, June 9, 2014, again attributed to Senator Oluremi Tinubu, which is titled, “Why I may not return to the Senate in 2015″ and with your kind permission, I may just read a little of it. “Wife of the former Lagos State governor, Oluremi Tinubu said she may not return to the Senate next year if the rot in the upper chamber persists…Mrs. Tinubu said she’s depressed with the various activities that go on in the Senate…”
“Mr. President, Distinguished Colleagues, as I said before, I’m a Senator first and foremost and by the grace of my colleagues, a member of the leadership of the Senate and to the best of my knowledge, Senator Tinubu has never raised any concern with me or with the leadership on the activities of the Senate. “I think it is most unkind, it is most uncharitable for a distinguished Senator who has the opportunity of raising concerns with her colleagues, not doing so and going straight to the media to play to the gallery.
“So, I object very, very seriously to the comments made by Senator Tinubu and I want to submit that my privilege, as a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has been breached by the said Senator.”Ndoma-Egba then laid the newspapers before the Senate as evidence.Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the session referred the matter to the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions chaired by Senator Ayo Akinyelure, a Labour Party member representing Ondo Central.
Ekweremadu said, “This matter is referred to the committee so that they can have Senator Tinubu present her own side of the story and if possible, invite the newspapers which published the stories.” He said the committee has two weeks to submit its report to the Senate for consideration.