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*Nigeria Senate Hearing Fraud Alert
By Intersociety Nigeria
(Onitsha Nigeria, 10th October, 2011)-On Saturday, 8th day of October, 2011, at about 1.30pm, a mobile phone call came to Mr. Emeka Umeagbalasi. The Male caller, who did not disclose his name, said he was investigating the letter we addressed to the President & Commander-in-chief over the plight of the Nigeria Traffic Wardens in the hands of the Nigeria Police Force. He also said that he received the letter few minutes before the closure of work on Friday (07-10-2011), glanced at it, found it sympathetic and took it home. He requested Mr. Emeka Umeagbalasi and Mr. Justus Ijeoma, the two signatories to the letter, to come over to his house “immediately”, for one-on-one discussion on same. Mr. Emeka Umeagbalasi thanked him for his interest and sympathy and apologized to him for sounding too formal, owing to hash experiences recorded in the hands of the PSC Boss, Chief Parry Osayande two months ago. He informed the Senator that Intersociety operates from Onitsha Anambra State and not based in Abuja. The Senator insisted that we must find our way to Abuja latest on Sunday for one-on-one discussion, and that if it is possible for us to appear before the Senate Committee on Police Affairs on Monday (today), which he said he heads, based on the outcome of our private meeting with him, he could see to its fruition.
We, again, commended him for his special interest in the matter and made him to understand that apart from the need for a formal invitation to be given to us to appear, that the invitation was very impromptu and on a weekend too. He asked us to come to Abuja on Sunday and that he would attend 8am mass, after which he will wait for us, and that we can call him when we arrived Abuja even if it is 6pm. Having agreed on meeting him for one-on-one discussion, despite the extreme urgency, we hastily arranged for Mr. Justus Ijeoma, our head of publicity desk, to leave for Abuja by road Sunday morning. Because offices, including ours, closed on Friday, we could not put necessary things together, including informing the key personnel of the Nigeria Traffic Wardens, under whose authority we are championing the just cause. And because banks had closed, we had to borrow to offset our PUB Head travel, feeding and hotel bills for a night (Sunday against Monday). Senator Larry Igwe even told us, when we made a case for an invitation letter that because offices had closed, his committee’s secretary will be unable to prepare the invitation letter to us.
We succeeded in ferrying Mr. Justus Ijeoma to Abuja at a great risk so as to show our uttermost seriousness and to appreciate Senator Larry Igwe’s professed interest and sympathy in the matter. Our ground of sending him to Abuja was to meet the Senator one-on-one as he requested and to agree with him on a favourable date for our possible appearance before the Senator’s Committee, more so when he made it clear that key personnel of the TWS would also appear along with us. Before leaving for Abuja, the only means of reaching the Senator was his presumed dedicated cell phone number. Neither his residential address nor any other meeting or contact point was made available to us, except his Committee’s secretary’s cell phone number given to Mr. Justus Ijeoma on his insistence. As expected, Mr. Justus Ijeoma got to Abuja at about 2.30pm and rang the Senator’s cell phone number severally without success. Eventually, the Senator’s Committee secretary joined in the call attempts on his boss cell phone all to no avail. In the late evening, the Senator sent an SMS to Mr. Justus Ijeoma, asking us to meet him at the Senate Chambers on Monday (today) at 10am so as to appear before his Committee’s public hearing.
Based on the fact that the Senator did not keep to his promise and we did not intend to appear before the Committee because it was not part of why we sent Mr. Justus Ijeoma to Abuja, we asked Mr. Ijeoma to send an SMS to the Senator before returning to Onitsha, informing him of his inability to keep the private appointment with us for one-on-one discussion upon which a date of appearing before his Committee would have been arrived at. We also asked Mr. Justus Ijeoma to forward our address to the Senator and his Committee’s secretary to enable them invite us formally before the Committee and to give us a favourable date to enable us to prepare ourselves. Sadly and unfortunately, the Senator’s reply to Mr. Justus Ijeoma’s innocuous SMS is thus
We suspect reasonably that something is wrong somewhere! Yesterday, it was similar bitter experience in the hands of the PSC Boss, Chief Parry Osayande, today; it is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Police Affairs. Not minding that we acted against our team of lawyers’ advice who advised that we must insist on being issued with an invitation letter whether such meeting is formal or private, we still honoured the private appointment without any official seal just to show our commitment and seriousness, yet our keeping to the appointment, which is very risky, is still not appreciated by the Senator. It appears that there is a serious gang up against the welfare of the personnel of the TWS from higher quarters, but we are undeterred come rain come shine! Our releasing this important statement is to alert the Senate President and Nigerians over this legislative overzealousness and demand that our right to fair hearing must not be tempered with by the Senate Committee on Police Affairs, headed by Senator Larry Igwe. As provided in Section 36 of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 as amended, we, as well as the TWS must be allowed to present our just cause before any federal establishments concerned with this case including the Senate Committee on Police Affairs within the context of the reasonability of time. Any attempts to gag us will fail woefully. We call on Nigerians including the Senate President to prevail on the Senator Larry Igwe-led Senate Committee on Police Affairs not to see its legislative duties in parochial and selfish perspective but in public trust, equity and justice. What clearly prompted this statement is the Senator’s threat via his SMS to blackmail us by misinforming Nigerians of what really transpired. Nigerians should be very watchful of his threats and misinformation.
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chairman, BOT
Comrade Justus Ijeoma, Head, Publicity Desk
Photo Above: Nigerian Senate Fraud Alert Symbol
Photo Above: Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Intersociety, 41, Miss Elems Street, Fegge, Onitsha, Anambra State, Nigeria.
*Tags: Nigerians, Hearing, Fraud, Alert, Senator, Larry, Igwe, Africa, Masterweb
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