A GOOD POLITICIAN SHOULD BE WILLING TO TASTE PRISON EXPERIENCE - GBAJABIAMILA
Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of House of Representatives said going to prison is a badge of honour for a good politician.
The Speaker, who was represented by his Deputy, Ahmad Idris, made the assertion during a courtesy visit to Senator Orji Kalu, the Senate minority leader after his release from the Kuje prison in Abuja.
Orji Kalu, a former Governor of Abia State was recently released from custody on Wednesday, June 3, after the Supreme court on May 8, nullified Justice Idris's judgment on the basis that he gave judgment without jurisdiction.
Recall, Orji Kalu was sentenced to jail for 12 years on December 5th, 2019, after he was convicted of N7.1 billion fraud alongside former Director of Finance in Abia State, Jones Udeogu.
Gbajabiamila described Kalu as a man of destiny, added that the leadership of the lower chamber is in sympathy with him.
The Speaker emphasized that it is inevitable for a truthful politician to go to prison.
"My leader, the late Chief Solomon Lar, told me not to fear, as a politician, to go to prison. He told me that going to prison is a badge of honour.
"If you are a good politician, you should be willing to taste prison experience because it will come to you in very many dimensions," Gbajabiamila said.
Read Also: UPDATE: ORJI KALU REGAINS FREEDOM
He added that politicians are liable to face prisons alongside humiliation in the political race.
He urged Kalu and other politicians to see it as a normal for being truthful.
SOME PROMINENT NIGERIAN POLITICIANS THAT HAVE BEEN SENT TO JAIL UNDER THE BUHARI'S ADMINISTRATION.
Several top former political office holders in Nigeria have been made to leave their palatial residences in highbrow areas of the country to experience life in prison for engaging in corruption related offenses.
Below is a list of the Nigerian politicians who have been to the Nigerian prisons under the Buhari's administration, as compiled by Daily Trust.
1. Yero at Kaduna Convict Prison
Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, a former Governor of Kaduna State was sent to prison.
Within five years, Yero without contesting an election became a Commissioner, Deputy Governor, and Governor.
Yero, who rose from a finance Director in Namadi Sambo’s firm (Nalado Nigeria Limited) to become Commissioner for Finance in 2007, Deputy Governor in 2010 and Governor in December 2012 following the death of Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa in a helicopter crash, spent about a week at the Kaduna Convict Prison.
He was in detention from May 31 to June 6, 2018, together with a former chairman of the PDP in the State, Abubakar Gaya-Haruna; a former secretary to the State Government Hamza Ishaq and a former Minister of Power, Nuhu Somo Wya.
2. Jonah Jang lights up Jos prison
A former Governor of Plateau state, retired Air Commodore Jonah David Jang, was a ‘special guest’ at the Jos prison where he spent eight days.
The presence of Jang, the Senator representing Plateau North senatorial district, led to the restoration of power supply at the prison.
Jang, who was a military Governor of Benue, defunct Gongola and Plateau states between 2007 and 2015, is facing a 12-count charge of diverting N6.3bn alongside a former cashier in the office of the Secretary to the State Government, Yusuf Pam. He pleaded not guilty.
3. Bala Ngilari: A convict with a choice
In March 2017, Ngilari was jailed and convicted for failing to adhere to the procurement laws of the State. In a 75-minute long-ruling, Justice Nathan Musa found the former Governor guilty of four charges and discharged him on one, which bordered on conspiracy. He sentenced the former governor to five years in prison.
4. Nyame, a convicted Reverend
After over a decade of trial, Reverend Jolly Nyame, a former Governor of Taraba State, was convicted and sentenced to 14 years in prison for misappropriating funds while in office.
Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the high court of the Federal Capital Territory in Gudu, Abuja, sent Nyame to jail for criminal breach of trust by misappropriating N1.64bn preferred against him by the EFCC.
5. Nwaoboshi, a Senator in Kirikiri
For 48 hours, Peter Nwaoboshi (PDP-Delta North) was a guest at the Kirikiri maximum security prison over an alleged N805m fraud preferred against him by the EFCC.
Nwaoboshi who chairs the Senate committee on NDDC was arraigned alongside two companies - Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd and Summing Electrical Ltd - on a two-count charge of fraud and money laundering before Justice Mohammed Idris. The Delta lawmaker was granted bail on self-recognition.
6. Lamido and sons at Kurmawa prison
Shortly after the Buhari administration came on board in July 2015, a former Governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido and his two sons, Aminu and Mustapha, were remanded in Kurmawa prison on money laundering charges to the tune of N1.351bn.
Theirs was a family affair as the court was told, the money was laundered through four companies belonging to Lamido and his sons. The companies are Bamaina Holdings Limited, Bamaina Company Nigeria Limited, Bamaina Aluminum Limited, and Speeds International Limited.
It was gathered that the former Governor was allotted the same cell as his children. The investigation into the case predated the Buhari administration. He is one of the politicians in the PDP eyeing Buhari’s seat.
7. Metuh in Kuje prison
A former spokesman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Oliseh Metuh, was in the Kuje prison in Abuja over alleged money laundering.
The EFCC had charged Metuh of unlawfully collecting N400m from the Office of the National Security Adviser without executing any contract for Government.
Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, On February 25, 2020, sentenced the former Publicity Secretary of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Oliseh Metuh to seven years in jail, ordered him to pay N375 million to the Federal Government.
8. Bala Mohammed and son in Kuje prison
A former Minister of FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed and his son, Shamsudeen, were at different times kept at the Kuje prison over allegations of financial misconduct.
Just like the case of the Lamidos, theirs is also a family affair. While the EFCC arraigned the father on a six-count charge bordering on N864 million bribery and false assets declaration, his son was arraigned on a 15-count charge bordering on money laundering.
9. Ex-NSA Sambo Dasuki
A former national security adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki, spent 31 months in detention over an allegation of mismanagement of $2.1bn meant for the purchase of arms. Most of the other corruption cases involving top shots had their root in the Dasukigate as it is now known.
Among those who allegedly participated in the sharing of the arms, money is the former governor of Sokoto, Attahiru Bafarawa, his Kano counterpart, Ibrahim Shekarau, Raymond Dokpesi, Bello Haliru and son, Musiliu Obanikoro and son.
10. Babangida Aliyu, a chief servant battling corruption case
A former Governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu, was held by the EFCC over allegations of abuse of office and money laundering.
The Chief Servant, as he was reportedly called during his reign, is alleged to have diverted N2 billion ecological funds for political purposes.
11/12. Fani-Kayode at Ikoyi prison, Nenadi at Kirikiri
On the same day in June 2016, a former minister of aviation Femi Fani-Kayode and that of finance, Nenadi Usman, went to separate prisons on remand after they appeared at a court in Lagos over an alleged N4.9 billion fraud.
They were arraigned before Justice Sule Hassan by the EFCC on a 17-count charge. While Fani Kayode was sent to Ikoyi prison, Usman was taken to Kirikiri prison as Ikoyi prison does not have facilities for female inmates.