Thursday, 27 September 2007

Death absolves Enwerem for Senate Valediction

Party for the dead

The Nigerian Congress is preparing for a knees-up as they “mourn” the passing of Senator Evan Enwerem who at one time was the first Senate President in the third republic who got impeached for all sorts of irregularities in 1999.

The National Assembly last year approved disbursements for former senior officers of the nation and that law expressly forbade impeached officers from making claims in that regard.

This law would have been enacted after extensive debate and consideration as this was 7 years after that impeachment. The matter surely must have come up for them to have added the exclusion clause.

So, how on the death of the impeached Ex-Senate President, the chamber that sits two electoral terms after his can vacate the impeachment escapes me and what new evidence would have been provided to now exculpate the man from the charges that he was indicted for?

One could say that there is an element of necrophilia in the Nigerian psyche; the dead have to be celebrated if not worshipped. In the case of the Senate a valedictory session is to be held in honour of the Senate President who was impeached and in order not to have derisive headlines reading along those lines due process calls for the impeachment to be vacated.

Uncomfortable precedent

This sets an uncomfortable precedent, as the debate highlights that the impeachment was simply high-politicking rather than a substantive misdemeanour issue, it also means that occasion rather than new evidence and fact can overturn verdicts on the whim.

Whilst the man was alive, if he could muster such an emotion, he would have lived in the shame of having been removed from office ignominiously.

The interesting part to this is the family felt that some sort of honour was served in engaging the Senate at the death of the man so that all courtesies and privileges can be accorded the “now not” impeached Senate President.

So far, I have seen nothing of honourable note from either of the houses that make up the National Assembly apart from hedonistic tendencies that seek avenues for jollity rather than attending to the serious business of Nigerian leadership.

By an overwhelming acclaim, the news piece reads, I suppose one can expect much clamour from a den of thieves.

References

Senate Vacates Enwerem’s Impeachment – DisDayn

Senate Vacates Enwerem’s Impeachment - Vanguard

Vacating a judgement

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