Senate asks ministerial nominee ‘barred’ from holding political office for 10 years to ‘bow and go’

The Senate has screened Senator Sani Danladi, a politician convicted of forgery and barred from contesting or holding political offices for ten years, to take a ‘bow and go’.

Before the 2019 general elections, a High Court in Jalingo had disqualified Danladi from contesting the election after it was found that he presented a forged document to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

According to reports, the case went on to the Court of Appeal before the election and to the Supreme Court after the election, where the apex court affirmed the lower court’s judgment confirming that the certificate presented by Sani Danladi to the INEC was fake and forged.

Danladi, while appearing before the Senate for his screening, waxed lyrical about his political pedigree, stating that he rose from a councillor to council chairman before eventually becoming a deputy governor and acting governor of Taraba state.

After his presentation, the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, asked him to comment on the numerous petitions written against him over his conviction.

In his response, Danladi said, “There was no Supreme Court pronouncement banning me for ten years; it’s just the speculations of my enemies. All my judgments are before you; none of them indicts me that I should not contest elections.

“The Federal High Court Jalingo, at that time, because of the age on my certificate, gave judgment against me.

“I took the matter to the Appeal Court, and it was struck out for lack of merit. At the Supreme Court, the judge rule that the Federal High Court was wrong because when I was a deputy governor in 2007, the same Federal High Court Jalingo used their veto power to nullify me.”

Akpabio, however, queried: “The Federal High Court Jalingo gave judgment against you that you were not qualified to contest on the basis of perjury that you lied on oath on your date of birth, then later that same Federal High Court cleared you?”

Danladi responded:

“No, the moment the Federal High Court gave the first judgment, the Federal High Court becomes funtus officio, and can no longer sit as an appellate court over its own judgment. Say what you need to say, but we will study the case because it is in the interest of Nigeria and it’s in the public interest.”

Danladi maintained that there was no judgment barring him from holding political office before the senators shouted at him to take a bow and leave.

Senator Adams Oshiomole’s attempt to further quiz the ministerial nominee was hushed by his colleagues, and Danladi was ushered out of the house.