The ongoing probe of the Niger Delta Development Commission by some members of the House of Representatives as part of its oversight functions as enshrined in the 1999 constitution has generated a lot of publicity, elicited the interest of Nigerians, and to a large extent, being viewed as relatively transparent. This is largely due to the live broadcast of the probing sessions by the media.
It affords Nigerians the luxury of witnessing firsthand, the issues being raised and how the accused persons react and respond to them. Public trust is something past and present governments in Nigeria obviously lack owing to the high level of secrecy, corruption, bias, ‘man-know-manism’, and preferential treatment applied in dealing with issues involving public office holders in the past.
The world watched as the arguably most powerful President in the world, Donald Trump of the United States was quizzed and scrutinized by Lawmakers over accusations of abuse of power and executive rascality.
Adopting such in the ongoing probe of NDDC officials is a commendable development that should be continued. Nigerians should be allowed to pass their own judgment from their personal observations from the proceedings.
In time past, Nigerians relied on reports from correspondents, some of whom give accounts of the proceedings based on what was made available to them by members of a probing committee. There’s the likelihood that these reports may not represent the total outcome of the issues raised and the proceeding processes.
Nigerians witnessed a mild drama where the Acting Chairman of NDDC, Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei, purportedly collapsed while answering questions from members of the probing committee. Nigerians probably wouldn’t have had the full picture of how it got to that point if not for the live broadcast.
We commend those that ensured the probing session was broadcast live and we demand that such unusual culture be continued in many other probes to follow in time to come. We know there are many other outstanding probes involving high-profile Nigerian politicians, some of whom may not want such public scrutiny.
However, we believe that he that comes to equity must come with clean hands. Indeed, those that live in glass houses dare not throw stones.
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