All men of principle and good conscience are in total agreement that the continued retention of Senator Emmanuel Nnamdi “Andy” Ubah (representing Anambra South in the Senate) as the Senate Committee Chairman on
INEC is antithetical to all known tenets of democracy. It portrays the Senator David Mark-led Senate as abusing its powers to confer an undue advantage on Andy Ubah in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Anambra State.
The intention of Senaor Andy Uba to run for the office of Governor of Anambra State in the forthcoming gubernatorial election is well known. It is therefore not surprising that great disquiet is being caused by unfortunate boasts by his supporters that his INEC Committee Chairmanship would be used to influence INEC in the conduct of the gubernatorial election in Anambra state. It may well be that this is idle talk, but it is such that should not be ignored. In any case, even in the absence of the boasting by his supporters, it is still obvious that he cannot in good conscience remain the Chairman or even member of the Senate Committee on INEC in the light of his intention to participate in a very crucial election to be conducted by the same INEC.
Can Prof. Jega’s neutrality and or impartiality be trusted in a situation like this? Can INEC be trusted to guarantee a level-playing field where one of the contestant in the election it is to conduct, is the Chairman of the Senate Committee supervising and with the oversight of the umpire (INEC). Will the good people of Anambra of Anambra state go away believing that Andy Ubah’s appointment as the Committee Chairman, was not intended to give him unmerited advantages in the election?. Will Anambra not move away believing that Sen. David Mark is trying to foist Andy Ubah on Anambra where Obasanjo could not? Will Anambra people not be right in seeing these actions as an affront as well as undue interference by outsiders in Anambra politics? We can only ignore these questions at our own peril!!!
It is an indisputable fact that Senator Andy Uba’s Chairmanship of the Committee gives him access to certain information and even privileges which other aspirants would never receive. It gives him leverage in the budget approval process and other processes leading to the conduct of elections in Anambra. These advantages and leverages place Andy in a vantage position to call the shots and influence what happens in the gubernatorial election. These are obviously avenues which the public will not be wrong in believing that Andy Uba will definitely abuse to advance his ambition, knowing how desperate he is to become our governor, whether we vote for him or not!!!.Is it then right and proper to retain him as the Chairman of the Committee, in the light of the powers, privileges and access it unduly gives him? The answer is obvious because he can’t be an umpire in his own case.
Senator Andy Uba abusing his office as the Chairman of the committee will be natural if he is not removed immediately. It no longer makes any good sense to retain him as the Chairman of the Committee no matter what may have led to his appointment in the first place. We reject his retention as the Committee Chairman and the Senate must assure Anambrarians that it has no untoward interest in our gubernatorial election by REMOVING him immediately.
In the celebrated English case of R v Sussex Justices, Ex parte McCarthy ( 1 KB 256,  All ER Rep 233), which is a leading case on the impartiality and withdrawal of judges if it would appear that justice could be said not to have been done, a time honoured precedence was established. In that case, the principle that the mere appearance of bias is sufficient to overturn a judicial decision brought into common parlance the oft-quoted aphorism “Not only must Justice be done; it must also be seen to be done.”As stated by Lord Hewart CJ, said in the case “… a long line of cases shows that it is not merely of some importance but is of fundamental importance that justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done….Nothing is to be done which creates even a suspicion that there has been an improper interference with the course of justice”. Andy Uba remaining the Chairman or even member of that Committee is a very big threat to democracy not only in Anambra but in Nigeria.
The efforts of the Senate to uphold the rule of law as well as meet the yearning and aspirations of Nigerian should not be rubbished by the continued retention of Senator Andy Uba as the Chairman of the Committee. If the Senate fail and or refuse to remove him as the Chairman of the Committee, in the light of his aspiration to govern Anambra State, right-thinking members of the public will believe that it intentionally appointed him the Chairman of the Committee with a view to enabling him abuse his privilege and access to information. The Senate must show sense of right and justice, and must not hesitate to do the right thing by immediately removing Senator Andy Uba as the Chairman of this crucial Committee.
May it never be said that the Senate has any particular interest in the gubernatorial election in Anambra state. Elections in Anambra state, just like in any part of Nigeria stir up deep emotions. As we said earlier the supporters of Andy Uba are already boasting that he was made the Chairman of the Committee so that he can make sure that things go his way in the election. While this may not be true, the danger the perception or even the belief that his appointment as the Chairman of the Committee may have a bearing on the election, poses great danger to peace and security in Anambra state. The Ubas have wreaked great havoc in Anambra. We shall not allow them to plunge our state into disaster anymore!!
The time to act fast is now. THE SENATE MUST REMOVE ANDY UBA AS THE SENATE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN, NOW. As we say in Anambra, “Taa bu gboo”.