Alleged Corruption: EFCC Investigates Allegation Against Akpabio, Pondei

A file photo of the EFCC logo.

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is investigating the allegation against the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs Godswill Akpabio and the acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Daniel Pondei.

The anti-graft agency said it is investigating the Niger Delta Affairs Minister and Mr Pondei for alleged diversion of public funds.

EFCC on Thursday met with members of the Foundation for True Freedom and Good Governance, led by Mr Deji Adeyanju over the group’s petition.

At the end of the meeting, the Commission told Mr Adeyanju and other members of the group that their petition has been adopted and that it had commenced an investigation into the allegation against Mr Akpabio and the acting MD of the NDDC.

Senator Akpabio and Mr Pondie are being accused of allegedly diverting N40 billion belonging to the NDDC.

The EFCC said in a confirmation letter signed by its Head of Economic Governance, Adebayo Adeniyi, that it would require the cooperation of the petitioners as it carries out its investigation.

‘It’s A Wicked Lie’: Senator Urhoghide Denies Getting NDDC Contracts

 

Senator Matthew Urhoghide has denied claims he was awarded contracts by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). 

Senator Urhoghide represents Edo South in the upper lawmaking body of the country and was named by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, as one of the lawmakers who benefited from contract racketeering in reports making the rounds.

According to Akpabio, a former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Urhoghide was allegedly awarded six contracts by the NDDC, a claim the lawmaker has denied.

READ ALSO: Buhari Orders Speedy Investigation Into NDDC Corruption Scandal

The Senator on Wednesday said the claim by the Minister is unfortunate, describing it as untrue and a ploy to misinform the public and his constituency in particular.

“For Akpabio to say I have been a beneficiary is unfortunate and is a wicked lie and I just believe whatever mischief he wanted to perpetuate, I think Nigerians, through my own explanation, should be able to read between the lines” the former Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, told Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily. 

The lawmaker claimed that “Akpabio’s records are not even correct. The contracts (NDDC) I have attracted to my constituency are in excess of eleven, adding that “he (Akpabio) does not know what is going on.”

Out of the six contracts that Akpabio mentioned, four are street lights projects which are ongoing with the contractors (gotten through competitive bidding) not paid a dime as mobilization, Senator Urhoghide said.

The lawmaker also clarified that the projects are NDDC projects in his constituency.

Under Probe

 

The NDDC has been in the news recently following a probe of the commission over corruption allegations.

During a hearing by the House of Representatives last week, the Niger Delta Affairs Minister had alleged that some lawmakers were part of those who benefited from contracts awarded by the commission.

Following the claim, the Speaker of the House of Reps, Femi Gbajabiamila, ordered Akpabio to publish the names of the lawmakers awarded contracts by the commission and equally threatened to sue the minister over his claim.

Speedy Probe

 

For President Muhammadu Buhari, there should be a coordination between the National Assembly for a speedy conclusion of the NDDC probe.

The Nigerian leader wants the probe to get to the root of the matter and reposition the commission

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu quoted his principal as calling on “auditing firms and investigative agencies working in collaboration with National Assembly Committees to resolve the challenges in the NDDC must initiate actions in a time-bound manner and duly inform the Presidency of the actions being taken.”

 

 

 

Reps To Institute Legal Suit Against Minister Of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio

File: A collage juxtaposing the Speaker of the House of Reps, Femi Gbajabiamila, and the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio.

 

The House of Representatives has resolved to institute a legal suit against the minister of Niger Delta Affairs, following the expiration of a 48-hour ultimatum.

On Tuesday, the House issued an ultimatum to the minister to publish the names of lawmakers whom he claimed had received contracts from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The clerk has been directed to issue a criminal complaint of perjury and civil defamation suit against Mr. Akpabio.

Meanwhile, the Senate ad-hoc committee investigating financial recklessness in the NDDC has concluded its investigation and has presented its report before the Senate.

In the report read by the committee chairman Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi, he said the NDDC spent 1.3 trillion Naira between 2015 and May 31st, 2019.

Many of these expenses he said contravened the law and were extra-budgetary.

He said the committee observed process errors and infractions, as well as substantial payments, were made to staff in the form of unjustifiable allowances.

The investigation further revealed that the NDDC paid 4.9 billion Naira to staff for numerous allowances including COVID-19 relief, tour duty allowances, overseas travel, and international scholarships.

Curiously, the payment for overseas travel and scholarship was during the lockdown and cessation of flights abroad.

The committee also observed that the ministry of Niger delta is culpable if negligent supervision of the NDDC.

It further observed that the performance of the interim management committee IMC is a major issue as the record of the IMC has not shown any record of prudence and it should be dissolved.

The committee also raised an alarm over the forensic audit called for by President Buhari, stating that it is at a rudimentary level with the recruitment of the auditors still underway even after eight months.

Akpabio Insists Two Chairmen Of NDDC Committee Know Lawmakers Who Received Contracts

The Minister of Niger Delta appeared before a House of Representatives committee on July 20, 2020.
The Minister of Niger Delta appeared before a House of Representatives committee on July 20, 2020.

 

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, on Thursday, insisted that the two chairmen of the committee probing the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), know the lawmakers who received most of the contracts given out by the commission. 

This claim was embedded in a letter written by Akpabio, sent to the Green Chambers, and read on the floor by the Speaker, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila.

Mr Akpabio also said he never referred to members of the 9th assembly as beneficiaries of the NDDC contracts.

The minister further stated that in the 2019 budget there are 19 old contracts amounting to 9 billion naira which the House of Reps chairman on NDDC insisted that the IMC must pay.

Senator Akpabio, however, stressed that he will not make the documents public.

READ ALSO: NDDC Spent 1.3trn Between 2015 and 2019 – Senate Report

After having the letter read on the floor of the House, the letter was handed to the committee on ethics and privileges for further examination.

Akpabio’s letter came few minutes after the House of Representatives resolved to institute a legal suit against the minister, following the expiration of a 48-hour ultimatum.

On Tuesday, the House issued an ultimatum to the minister to publish the names of lawmakers whom he claimed had received contracts from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The clerk has been directed to issue a criminal complaint of perjury and civil defamation suit against Mr. Akpabio.

Meanwhile, the Senate ad-hoc committee investigating financial recklessness in the NDDC has concluded its investigation and has presented its report before the Senate.

In the report read by the committee chairman Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi, he said the NDDC spent 1.3 trillion Naira between 2015 and May 31st, 2019.

Many of these expenses he said contravened the law and were extra-budgetary.

He said the committee observed process errors and infractions, as well as substantial payments, were made to staff in the form of unjustifiable allowances.

The investigation further revealed that the NDDC paid 4.9 billion Naira to staff for numerous allowances including COVID-19 relief, tour duty allowances, overseas travel, and international scholarships.

Curiously, the payment for overseas travel and scholarship was during the lockdown and cessation of flights abroad.

The committee also observed that the ministry of Niger delta is culpable if negligent supervision of the NDDC.

It further observed that the performance of the interim management committee IMC is a major issue as the record of the IMC has not shown any record of prudence and it should be dissolved.

Gbajabiamila Gives Akpabio 48 Hours To Publish Names Of Lawmakers Awarded Contracts By NDDC

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, has given the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, 48 hours to publish the names of lawmakers who were awarded contracts by Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) as well as the details of the contracts.

Should the minister fail to publish the names, the speaker said the House will employ the full wrath of the law to ensure he does so.

The Speaker issued the ultimatum during plenary on Tuesday, a day after the minister claimed that most of the contracts awarded by the NDDC were awarded to lawmakers.

READ ALSO: Most NDDC Contracts Awarded To National Assembly Members – Akpabio

A bold claim

During a testy appearance before the House Committee on NDDC on Monday, Senator Akpabio claimed that the lawmakers were “the greatest beneficiaries” of NDDC contracts.

Asked how the lawmakers benefitted, he said, “I just told you that we have records to show that most of the contracts in the NDDC are given out to members of the National Assembly”.


The Minister of Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio, made his bold claim when appeared before a House of Representatives committee on July 20, 2020.


The Speaker who accused Senator Akpabio of pulling the oldest trick in the book with the claims believes the minister owes it the country to publish the names in the interest of transparency.

On Thursday, Mr Gbajabiamila had to intervene in the sitting of the committee after the Acting Managing Director of the NDDC, Daniel Pondei, slumped while being grilled about spendings by the commission.

He had called for calm and assured all those invited to appear before the committee that the invites were in the interest of the country and not targetted at anyone.

Drama As NDDC MD, Pondei, ‘Slumps’ During Reps Committee Interrogation

Stressing that it was a fact-finding mission, the Speaker wished Pondei quick recovery and urged the committee to proceed quickly and wrap up its investigations, stressing that Pondei had already submitted documents to them.

While issuing an ultimatum to Senator Akpabio about his claims, Mr Gbajabiamila, however, said the committee had the right to invite Pondei again should it feel the need to do so.


Moment Pondei Slumped

House Committee On NDDC Summons Akpabio, Pondei

The House Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has summoned the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Godswill Akpabio, to appear and make presentations before it on Monday, July 20, 2020.

The committee also summoned the Managing Director of the NDDC, Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei to appear before it on the same day.

This comes after the former MD of the NDDC, Joy Nunieh, on Friday gave her testimony at the House Committee on Public Hearing via zoom.

Ms. Nunieh was billed to appear before the committee on Thursday but her house was besieged by some security agents, hindering her from making a physical appearance.

Speaking at the hearing, Ms. Nunieh told the lawmakers that the siege on her residence was an attempt to prevent her from testifying before the panel.

A screenshot of Ms. Joy Nunieh speaking to the House of Reps Committee on the NDDC via Zoom.

In her presentation she defended herself against allegations of corruption, arguing that there was no contractor that paid bribes.

She further debunked allegations of fraud and attempts to filibuster the Commission, adding that she did not touch funds meant for the Niger Delta People.

A walkout 

Following the development, the committee resolved to summon Mr. Pondei after he had angered the lawmakers by walking out on them on Thursday at an investigative hearing put together by the House of Representatives.

File Photo of acting Managing Director of the NDDC, Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei

Mr. Pondei in his response said the Commission cannot partake in an investigative hearing which is being presided over by the chairman of the committee who has been accused by the NDDC of hijacking the Commission’s projects.

READ ALSO: NDDC Boss, Others Walk Out On Lawmakers At House Of Reps Investigative Hearing

Professor Pondei was of the opinion that the NDDC will not get a fair hearing and refused to make presentations before the committee.

The NDDC’s action however prompted the committee to issue a warrant of arrest compelling Professor Pondei to appear before the lawmakers and make a proper submission.

The House of Representatives is carrying out an investigation into alleged mismanagement of funds by the current interim management committee (IMC) of the NDDC.

According to allegations, the interim management of the NDDC has mishandled about N40billion.

Amid the controversy, President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered a speedy and coordinated investigation into the corruption scandal in the NDDC.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.

He explained that the President gave the directive for better coordination among security and investigating agencies with the National Assembly.

Shehu believes this will ensure that the effort of the present administration to bring sanity, transparency, and accountability to the management of the large number of resources dedicated to the development of the Niger Delta sub-region is not derailed.

He stated that the President has noted the unfolding drama, including attacks and counterattacks between and around persons, institutions, and the NDDC.

INEC Conducts Rerun Elections In Ogun, Abia, Nine Other States

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is conducting rerun elections in 11 states across the country.

The states affected include Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Benue, Cross River, Imo, Kaduna, Kano, Niger, Ogun, and Sokoto.

Elections will also be conducted in 33 Local Government Areas in the affected states.

A total of one senatorial district, 12 Federal constituencies and 15 State constituencies will be filled after the election process is concluded.

Imo State:

Voting is ongoing at ward 1, Community Secondary School in Amaraku Isiala Mbano LGA, one of the polling units for the Okigwe North Federal House of Representatives rerun election.

Elections are holding in two Federal and one State Constituencies.

Ogun State:

Voting has started in the 13 polling units which cut across three Local Government Areas of the state; Ijebu-ode, Odogbolu and Ijebu Northeast.

At 7:30am electoral officers arrived Ijebu-Ode Polling Unit.

Polling Unit at U.N.A Primary School, Imepe, Ijebu-Ode opened at 7.53am.

As monitored in Ijebu-ode and Ilese areas of the state, there was an impressive and large turnout of voters with adequate security.

Akwa Ibom State:

Voting is ongoing at most polling units in Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom state.

Voters also trooped out to polling units in Methodist school, Ukana, Essien Udim local government area of the state to cast their ballot.

Niger State:

Voting began at 8am in Agwara, Niger State.

Polling units recorded a large turnout of voters.

Bauchi State:

Voting commenced at 8am in Udubo Primary School Polling Unit 1 and Udubo Yamma Polling unit in Gamawa Federal Constituency.

The rerun is holding in the entire constituency which has 256 polling units and over 130,000 registered voters.

Voters turned out to cast their ballot in a calm and orderly manner.

Channels Television observed that the major challenge witnessed so far is the failure of the card reader to authenticate fingerprints.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) is not participating in the rerun as ordered by the court, but the major contenders are Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).

Abia State:

Rerun election is holding at Aba South state constituency and Arochukwu state constituency peacefully amidst heavy security presence.

In Aba South, voters in ward six trooped out to cast their vote.

Kaduna State:

Accreditation and voting are going on simultaneously at the various polling units in Kargako local government area of Kaduna state.

Voting is also going on at Kubacha Ungwar Jaba for the Kargako State Constituency election.

Kano State:

At about 8:30am, voters started casting their ballot at Minjibir State Constituency with security presence to monitor the entire process.

Akwa Ibom Senatorial Poll: Akpabio Loses To Ekpenyong At Tribunal

APC Has Been Able To Manage Security Better Than PDP, Says Akpabio

 

Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and former Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, has lost the Akwa Ibom Senatorial bid to Senator Christopher Ekpenyong.

The National and State House of Assembly Election Tribunal, sitting in Uyo, upheld the victory of Senator Christopher Ekpenyong of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the February 23 elections as the Senator representing Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District at the Senate.

The 1st Petitioner, Senator Godswill Akpabio of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had challenged the elections on the grounds that Senator Christopher Ekpenyong was not duly elected by majority of lawful votes cast during the elections for the  North West Senatorial District.

READ ALSO: Tribunal Dismisses PDP, Atiku’s Petition Challenging Buhari’s Victory

He (Akpabio) also noted that the election that produced Senator Christopher Ekpeyong as winner was invalid owing to non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act in the conduct of the election.

In a majority Judgement of two justices, the three-man tribunal dismissed the petition and upheld as valid, the declaration of Senator Christopher Ekpenyong as the winner of the election.

Describing the petition as “lacking merit”, the panel noted that the petitioner failed to prove that he won the said election as well as failed to present convincing evidence of noncompliance with Electoral Act as raised in his petition.

 

Akpabio Gyrates With MC Galaxy After Ministerial Appointment

 

Following the ministerial inauguration in Abuja on Wednesday, Godswill Akpabio, who was handed the Niger Delta portfolio by President Muhammadu Buhari, was spotted gyrating and dancing.

In a video shared on social media, Akpabio could be seen dancing alongside MC Galaxy.

READ ALSO: Viral Picture: Speaker Feeds Baby During Parliamentary Debate

The former governor showed off his dancing skills in celebration of the new appointment.

Results From My Senatorial District Were Mutilated, Says Akpabio

 

Senator Godswill Akpabio has said that the results from Ikot-Ekpene Senatorial District were mutilated in a bid to deprive him of his mandate.

Speaking to Channels Television’s Seun Okinbaloye on Politics Today, Akpabio said he obtained the original results and the mutilated version and presented a case before a High Court at the FCT.

The former Minority Leader said that on investigating the evidence before it, the Court gave an Interim Order restraining INEC from issuing a Certificate Of Return to anyone but the rightful candidate of the elections which held on Saturday, February 23.

READ ALSO: We Won’t Depend On Threatened Observers, We Will Go To Court, Says Secondus

He said there was illegality in a previous announcement which did not declare him as the winner of the Senatorial district, hence, he approached the Court to get back his mandate.

Akpabio, the incumbent Senator representing Ikot-Ekpene Senatorial District, said that he did not lose his re-election bid, claiming that his mandate remains intact.

Recall that in an earlier interview, Akpabio stated that the election was manipulated and as such he would ensure that it is reversed.

Speaking about his loss, he said, “I won, it’s a temporal setback and that is why there are processes. If for instance you feel you were cheated, or there was wrong collation, you have recourse to the court.

“So for me, I can’t fail, I didn’t fail, there must have been some wrong collation somewhere, so those things will be corrected”.

Senatorial Race: I Cannot Fail, I Won The Election – Akpabio

 

Incumbent Senator representing Ikot-Ekpene Senatorial District, Godswill Akpabio, has said that he did not lose his re-election bid, claiming that his mandate remains intact.

In an interview with Channels Television’s Gloria Umezurike, Akpabio said the election was manipulated and as such he would ensure that it is reversed.

Speaking about his loss at the Senatorial election in the district where he was seeking to be re-elected, Akpabio said, “I won, it’s a temporal setback and that is why there are processes. If for instance you feel you were cheated, or there was wrong collation, you have recourse to the court.

READ ALSO: Buhari Vows To Intensify Efforts On Security, Economy And Anti-Corruption Fight

“So for me, I can’t fail, I didn’t fail, there must have been some wrong collation somewhere, so those things will be corrected.

“We have processes in the election, it goes from one stage to the other, you have to do registration, you have to vote, you have to collate, and if there is a mistake, you go to the court and you get back your mandate.

“My Mandate is solid and waiting for me, my [people know that I cannot fail.”

Senator Akpabio had previously vowed to ensure that the victory of Dr Chris Ekpenyong of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the election for Ikot-Ekpene Senatorial District is reversed.

Dr Ekpenyong was declared winner of the senatorial seat after polling 118,215 votes to defeat Senator Akpabio of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who got 83,158 votes.

Senator Akpabio who was a former Senate Minority Leader while he was with the PDP, said he would challenge the results of the election as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Tuesday.

Upsets, Triumph From Nigeria’s National Assembly Elections

 

 

The 2019 general elections are set to record major upsets and, in some cases, very shocking outcomes, as already being indicated in the results of the National Assembly polls being announced across the country.

Whatever the case may be, the 9th National Assembly promises to throw up many new faces, from the South to the North of the country, with many unlikely candidates emerging to redefine the political landscape.

Against the expectation of many, the Oyo State governor and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Oyo South Senatorial District yielded to the superior firepower of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Kola Balogun.

Governor Ajimobi could not but congratulate his PDP rival shortly after the announcement of the result.

“I hereby accept the result as announced. Although there were a number of grievous infractions and established electoral malpractices, I have decided to let go in the interest of peace. I, therefore, congratulate the declared winner, Hon. Kola Balogun,” he said.

In a statement on Monday, Governor Ajimobi said there was nothing to feel sad about because his party won two out of the three Senatorial seats and nine out of 14 federal constituency seats.

Governor Ajimobi may not have been lucky, but his counterparts in Ogun and Imo States, Ibikunle Amosun and Rochas Okorocha, have clinched Ogun Central and Imo West Senatorial seats respectively.

READ ALSO: Akpabio Loses Senatorial Seat In Akwa Ibom

All the senatorial seats in Ekiti State were swept by the APC, with the former National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Dayo Adeyeye, who defected to the APC emerging winner of Ekiti South Senatorial District, defeating Senate Minority Leader, Abiodun Olujimi, who is currently occupying the seat.

While Olubunmi Ajetumbi of the APC won the Ekiti North seat by beating Senator Duro Faseyi of the PDP, Opeyemi Bamidele of the APC beat his closest rival, Obafemi Adewale of the PDP to take the Ekiti Central senatorial seat.

Governor Amosun, who has had a running battle with the leadership of the APC over the choice of the governorship candidate of the APC in his state, thrashed his closest rival, Solomon Sanyaolu, of the PDP with a whopping 88,110 votes to 33,276 votes.

The governor, who dedicated his victory to the people of the state, vowed to resume the campaign for his preferred governorship candidate, Adekunle Akinlade, of the Allied Peoples Movement.

The scenario in Ogun State played out in Imo State, where Governor Rochas Okorocha of the APC defeated his closest rival, Jones Onyereri, of the PDP who raised the alarm that the returning officer was forced to declare Okorocha winner of Imo West Senatorial District election.

Like his Ogun State counterpart, Governor Okorocha has been at daggers drawn with the APC leadership at the national level, causing a split in the state chapter of the party, and forcing him to throw his full weight behind his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu’s quest to take over as the state chief executive under the platform of the Action Alliance.

In Anambra State, businesswoman and former Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, is making a return to the Senate to represent Anambra North Senatorial district after trouncing her closest rivals, Emmanuel Chinedu of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and Mr. Nelson Onubogu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

She has promised to continue to represent her people well, adding, “it is a duty to further improve the livelihood of the people of my senatorial district.”And call it a battle of the “Ubahs” in Anambra State and you would not be wrong, as businessman and chairman of Capital Oil and Gas Limited, Ifeanyi Ubah, emerged winner of the Anambra South Senatorial district seat.

Running under the platform of the Young Progressive Party (YPP), Ifeanyi Ubah, who previously contested for the state’s governorship seat and failed, beat the Uba brothers, Chris Uba of the PDP, and serving senator for the district, Sen. Andy Uba of the APC.

In neighboring Abia State, a former governor of the state, Orji Kalu of the APC is joining the 9th Senate to represent Abia North Senatorial District. Kalu who is battling alleged N7.6bn fraud charges filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), defeated his closest rival from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, who is currently occupying the seat.

Embattled Senator Peter Nwaoboshi is also returning to the upper legislative chamber to represent Delta North Senatorial District, having defeated his closest rival Doris Oboh, of the APC, in what could be termed a landslide victory after polling 186,423 votes against Oboh’s 36,350 votes.

A few would recall the name, Ndudi Elemelu of the PDP, as a former lawmaker who once represented the Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency of Delta State. He has now staged a comeback to the green chamber.

He defeated the APC candidate, Paul Adingupu, in the election conducted in four local government areas that make up the constituency in the state, namely: Oshimili North, Oshimili South, Aniocha North, and Aniocha South.

Up North, a former governor of Kano State, Ibrahim Shekarau, has been declared the winner of Kano Central Senatorial District. The APC candidate who defected to the ruling party from the PDP in the run-up to the general elections, defeated his rival, Aliyu Sani-Madawakingini of the PDP to emerge the winner.

Just like Governor Ajimobi of Oyo State, another serving state chief executive whose hope of making it to the upper legislative chamber has been dashed is the Gombe State Governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo. He was defeated by Senator Saidu Akali of the APC for the Gombe North Senatorial District seat, denying him the chance to join his colleagues who are also seeking refuge in the Senate, having completed their second tenure.

The Nasarawa State governor, Tanko Al-Makura of the APC, has also joined the league of former governors headed for the Senate after displacing the senator representing Nasarawa South Senatorial District, Suleiman Adokwe of the PDP, in an election that seemed like a walkover.

Perhaps, the most striking upset is the defeat suffered by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who was out-maneuvered in the Kwara political chess game by the APC candidate, Ibrahim Oloriegbe. It was an election that pitched the progeny of the established Saraki dynasty against a population that yearned for what they described as political freedom, united by the sing-song “Oto ge” (‘enough’ in Yoruba).

Saraki’s close ally in the lower chamber, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, however, managed to secure his re-election after defeating his APC rival, Abubakar Abdullahi, to represent the Bogoro/Tafawa Balewa, Dass Federal Constituency.

The red chamber may yet witness some drama as controversial Senator, Dino Melaye of the PDP, has defied all hurdles before him and made his way back to the Senate, defeating his rival, Smart Adeyemi, of the APC to emerge winner of the Kogi West Senatorial District.

Melaye’s win is remarkable, coming against the backdrop of the efforts made by his constituency to recall him and the face-off with the Nigeria Police, culminating in his eventual hospitalization, leaving him with little or no time to campaign for his re-election.