Nicholas Ugbane

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Nicholas Ugbane
Nigerian Senator
In office
2003–2011
Preceded by Alex Kadiri
Succeeded by Emmanuel Dangana Ocheja
Constituency Kogi East
Personal details
Born 23 December 1953
Political party People's Democratic Party (PDP)
Occupation Banker
Profession Politician

Nicholas Ugbane is a former Nigerian senator who became a member of the Nigerian Senate in 2003.[1] In May 2009 he was held in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on account of alleged complicity in defrauding the Nigerian government of funds earmarked for rural electrification.[2]

Background[edit]

Nicholas Ugbane was born on 23 December 1953 in Egume, in Kogi State. He gained a Master's Degree in Business Administration (Finance) from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria. He was a Senator Elect (UNCP) 25 April 1998. He was appointed Commissioner for Education, Agriculture, Commerce and Industry, Youths and Sports for Kogi State.[1][3]

Obasanjo presidency[edit]

Nicholas Ugbane was elected to the National Senate for the Kogi East constituency in 2003 representing the All Nigeria People's Party (ANPP). In 2004, he opposed a proposal by the Central Bank of Nigeria to overhaul the categorization of banks into mega, medium and small categories.[4] In May 2006, Senator Ugbane was among a minority of Senators who favored allowing President Olusegun Obasanjo to stand for a third term.[5] Following a plane crash in Abuja in October 2006 that killed over 95 people, Ugbane was among Senators that called for the resignation of Aviation minister, Prof. Babalola Borishade.[6]

Yar'Adua presidency[edit]

Nicholas Ugbane was reelected in 2007 running for the PDP. He was appointed to committees for Public Accounts, Niger Delta, Independent National Electoral Commission and Aviation.[1] During a debate over nomination of Senator David Mark as Senate President, Nicholas Ugbane was considered as an alternative.[7] In May 2007, the Senate resolved to probe the use of funds earmarked for the Independent National Electoral Commission. Senator Nicholas Ugbane, as Chairman of the Senate Committee on INEC, supported the probe but defended himself against allegations that he had not exercised sufficient oversight.[8]

In 2008, Senator Ugbane was vocal in the campaign against corruption and fraud in the power sector during the period when President Olusegun Obasanjo was in power (1999–2007).[9] In April 2008 Senator Ugbane was a panelist at a conference on developing and supporting critical energy infrastructure in Nigeria.[10] In October 2008, Ugbane was a speaker on developing Nigeria's power structure at the 9th Annual State of the Nigerian Nation Symposium held in Washington, DC, USA.[11]

In December 2008, Senator Ugbane of Koge East, which is also the base of Koge State governor Ibrahim Idris, became involved in a dispute with Senator Smart Adeyemi of Koge West over nomination of ministers from the state.[12] He stated that nomination of Humphrey Enemakwu Abah for a ministerial position would violate Section 14 of the Nigerian Constitution, which deals with Federal Character.[13] That month Senator Ugbane donated a library to SS Peter and Paul Academy, Egume in Kogi state.[3]

EFCC prosecution[edit]

In May 2009, Senator Ugbane gave himself up to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, chaired by Farida Mzamber Waziri. As Chairman of the Senate committee on Power he was alleged to have interests in companies that won major contracts in the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), and to have been a beneficiary of the N6 billion rural electrification contract scam.[14] His bail request was refused.[2] Senate Spokesman Senator Ayogu Eze said that the Senate expected justice to be done, but that they would not protect Ugbane if he were found guilty.[15] Also arrested was Ndudi Elumelu, chairman of the House of Representatives power committee.[16] The EFCC was said to be searching for the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Iyiola Omisore, to give an explanation of the way in which the electrification projects became included in the 2009 budget.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Sen. Nicholas Ugbane". National Assembly of Nigeria. Retrieved 2009-09-26. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b "Court remands Ugbane, Elumelu others in Kuje Prison". The Guardian. 19 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-26. [dead link]
  3. ^ a b "Investing in People" (PDF). USAID. December 2008. Retrieved 2009-09-26. 
  4. ^ "Capital base: Senate okays banks’ ranking". Independent Newspapers Limited. 2004-08-27. Retrieved 2009-09-26. 
  5. ^ "Third term: Campaigners short of 22 senators". Orji Kalu. 7 May 2006. Retrieved 2009-09-26. 
  6. ^ "Borishade out, so what?". Weekend Triumph. 4 November 2006. Retrieved 2009-09-26. 
  7. ^ "SENATE PRESIDENCY: ANTI-MARK OPPOSITION MOUNTS". Radio Nigeria. Retrieved 2009-09-26. 
  8. ^ "Senate probes INEC". My Naija News. 16 May 2007. Retrieved 2009-09-26. 
  9. ^ "Another Sordid Affair at the National Assembly". Newswatch Magazine. 17 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-26. 
  10. ^ "Developing and supporting critical energy infrastructure" (PDF). University of Texas - Bureau of Economic Geology. 29–30 April 2008. Retrieved 2009-09-26. 
  11. ^ "Developing Nigeria’s Power Sector: Strategies, Challenges and Impact" (PDF). Nigerian Peoples Forum USA. 10 October 2008. Retrieved 2009-09-26. 
  12. ^ "War over Ministerial nominee". Daily Sun. 14 December 2008. Retrieved 2009-09-26. 
  13. ^ "Senate rejects ministerial nominee". Nigerian Observer. 12 December 2008. Retrieved 2009-09-26. 
  14. ^ "Power Crisis: Sen. Ugbane In The Eye Of The Storm". Leadership Magazine. 8 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-26. 
  15. ^ "We will Not Protect Ugbane - Senate". Vanguard. 8 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-26. 
  16. ^ "Exposed! Obasanjo, Yar'Adua roles in Ugbane, Elumelu trial". National Daily. 14 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-26. [dead link]
  17. ^ "Nabbed For Mega Scam". The News. 18 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-26.