Dear Gentlemen of the press,
It was with horror, disbelief and disappointment that I read comments attributed to the Senator Representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Senator Smart Adeyemi on the floor of the Senate during plenary on Tuesday, February 23, 2021.
2. Senator Adeyemi made uncomplimentary and unparliamentary submissions that breaches our rules against the leader and the Governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu in the hallowed chamber of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria .
3. Senator Adeyemi, during the senate plenary session of Tuesday 23rd February 2021 described Governor Ikpeazu as a “DRUNKARD” .
4. As a serving Member of the National Assembly from Abia State, I have gone through all our Parliamentary Rule Books and I cannot find any rule that permits Senator Adeyemi to use the hallowed Chambers of the National Assembly to, in a such brazen manner, propagate hate speech on persons no matter how lowly or highly placed in the society .
5. It is trite that one of the cardinal functions of the parliament is to defend and uphold the integrity and rights of every law abiding citizen.
6. I must quickly remind Senator Smart that no court of law has convicted nor fined Governor Okezie Ikpeazu over drunkenness. Neither has the Abia State House Of Assembly, the body with statutory oversight over Governor Ikpeazu, at any point in time, found him to be a drunk that ordinarily would have necessitated such undistinguished vituperation by Senator Adeyemi.
7. Governor Ikpeazu was never the subject of the motion being debated and by no stretch should his name have come up negatively in the course of Senator Adeyemi’s contribution.
8. I note sadly that efforts by the Senate President to call him to order were rebuffed as he was hell bent on going down the voyage to infamy.
9. As a serving Parliamentarian from Abia State, I consider Senator Adeyemi’s outburst as a deliberate insult not only to the Governor, his family, his Christian faith where he is an ordained Elder, my constituency that is an integral part of the state, but also to my humble self, his colleague from Abia State in the National Assembly and well meaning Abians that freely gave Governor Ikpeazu their mandate to lead them.
10. I also consider it as a disrespect to the 9th National Assembly as an institution that our hallowed Chambers would be used to engage in such unbecoming personal attacks that have no bearing on the business of Lawmaking.
11. His excuse that he was reacting to comments allegedly made by Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe against his own State Governor, comments which has since been denied by Senator Abaribe, is of no moment as Governor Ikpeazu, no matter the circumstance, cannot be held vicariously liable for a perceived unsubstantiated offense purportedly committed by Senator Adeyemi’s colleague.
12. The floor of the Chambers of the National Assembly is no venue for the settling of personal scores and this should be made clear in unambiguous terms.
13. As an Abian, I state without equivocation that my Governor, His Excellency, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, does not in any form or manner, represent the picture painted by Senator Adeyemi and his records on education and recent efforts that has positioned Abia State as #3 in Nigeria among the states attracting foreign direct investment and cash flow, has been sterling.
14. There was therefore absolutely no basis for Senator Adeyemi’s misplaced attack.
15. I therefore declare that Senator Adeyemi’s outburst is a breach of my privilege as a Member of the National Assembly from Abia State and respectfully call on the Chairman of the National Assembly and the Senate President to;
i. Kindly direct that the unsubstantiated uncomplimentary comments made against His Excellency, Okezie Ikpeazu, Governor Of Abia State by Senator Smart Adeyemi be expunged from the records of proceedings of the Senate plenary session of Tuesday 23/02/2021.
ii. That Senator Smart Adeyemi should without delay and within the next two legislative days, on the floor of the Senate, publicly retract his ugly remarks against Governor Okezie Ikpeazu and other well meaning people of Arochukwu/Ohafia Federal constituency and Abians that freely elected Dr. Ikpeazu the Leader and Governor of My home state, Abia.
iii. That Senator Adeyemi apologises in clear and unambiguous language for his undignified outburst.
16. Failure for Senator Adeyemi to do so, that the Chairman and Co-Chairman of the 9th National Assembly should as a matter of urgent public importance and for the purposes of preservation of the sanctity, integrity and pro-masses stand of the parliament, call for a joint sitting of the Ethics and Privileges Committee of both Chambers of the National Assembly to investigate the matter within 2 weeks to enable Senator Smart Adeyemi substantiate his claims against the Governor of Abia State.
17. This is with a view to demonstrate to the public and the entire world that the parliament does not condone any form of legislative rascality and reassure every law abiding citizen that we stand to protect all.
18.I have full confidence in the ability of the Senate President to correct this unprovoked insult and I trust that he will do the right thing.
Rt. Hon. Uko Ndukwe Nkole, FNITP.
Member Representing Arochukwu/Ohafia Federal Constituency
House of Representatives