The acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NNDC), Prof Kemebradikumo Pondei, slumped at the public hearing of the House of Representatives Committee on the Commission on Monday.
Pondei who had been summoned by the House to explain his part in the controversy surrounding the illegal spending of N81.5 Billion budgetary allocations to the NDDC. fainted after about 45 minutes of questioning, thereby forcing a temporary suspension of the investigations.
The development immediately sent Nigeria’s social media space into a frenzy with many contributors on various platforms concluding that the NDDC acting MD was only play-acting to doge answering questions by the House Committee.
Interestingly, Pondei is not the only Nigerian politician who has either slumped or fallen ill during critical moments of a prob, investigation, or trial in a bid to escape trial or enjoy a soft-landing. Below are 5 other Nigerian politicians/public office holders who have pulled the stunt
Olisah Metuh Slumps In Court
A former spokesperson of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh who was accused of receiving N400million from the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, in an illegal Arms deal ahead of 2015 general election slumped while making his way to the dock for continuation of his trial.
The development in March, 2018, forced the presiding judge, Justice Okon Abang to stand down the matter for almost half an hour to enable medical officials attend to the embattled PDP mouth-piece.
Earlier on 5 February, 2018, Olisa Metuh had arrived at the Federal high court in Abuja in an ambulance and was absent when the case was heard the previous week.
On 25 February, 2020. Metuh was sentenced to seven years imprisonment.
Dino Melaye Resists Arrest
The immediate past Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Dino Melaye who is not new to serving Nigerian news followers with drama slumped moments after he was arrested by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad on Friday, January 4, 2019 and was taken to an undisclosed hospital for medical attention.
Melaye had presented himself to the Police in Abuja for an arrest after more than eight days of hide-and-seek game between him and the police, who had surrounded his Maitama residence.
The police had alleged that the controversial Senator was involved in the shooting of a police officer, Sgt Danjuma Saliu in Kogi State in July of 2018.
Abdulrasheed Maina Falls Ill During Trial
Former chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina, was on October 25, 2019, arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC alongside a firm, Common Input Property and Investment Ltd, on 12 counts bordering on alleged N2 billion pension fund fraud, money laundering, and operating fictitious bank accounts among other fraudulent activities.
Maina who is also accused of diverting N100 billion of pension funds, was wheeled in by two prison guards, buttressing reports of ill-health earlier submitted to the court before appearing for his trial at a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) high court in November
As a result of his reported ill-health, Justice Okon Abang, granted a bail sum of N1 billion. but the pension fund boss contested the bail condition which he described as stringent.
Last month, Justice Abang varied the bail conditions of the embattled pension boss, who has been remanded in a correctional facility since he was arrested alongside his son, Faisal in September.
Faisal was accused of operating an account he used to divert various sums of money, including N58 million.
Maina and his son have since remained in detention after failing to meet new bail conditions.
Ayo Fayose Slumps Under Tear Gas Attack
No news follower will forget in a hurry the famous or infamous ““I am in pains”, “I am in severe pains”. “I call on the international; community; Ekiti is under siege.” wailing by former Ekiti state governor Ayodele Fayose in the run building to the last governorship elections in the state.
Operatives of the Nigeria Police Force allegedly laid siege over the Ekiti State government house in Ado-Ekiti, and attacked outgoing state governor Fayose while pictures circulated online by the official handle of opposition party, PDP, suggested Fayose slumped after he was allegedly teargassed by the security operatives.
Lere Olayinka, spokesman to Fayose, had said his principal lost consciousness and was taken to Government House clinic foolowing the attack by policemen
The former Governor later appeared live on Channels Television with the infamous “I am in pains” cry.
Diezani Alison Madueke Develops Cancer
Nigeria’s former Minister of Petroleum Resources and first female OPEC president, Diezani K. Alison-Madueke suddenly developed cancer at critical point of investigations to allegations of corruption, diversion of funds and embezzlement of nations wealth to the tune of U.S.$90 billion from the state.
Although the former minister claimed she had been a cancer patient even while in office from 2010 to 2015, a lot of Nigerians believe she feigned sickness to escape probe.
Subsequently, many pictures and videos of Alison-Madueke on a sick bed in a UK hospital surfaced on the internet accompanied by messages from the embattled former minister appealing to Nigerians to pray for her as she was about to under go a surgery,
The surgery was successfully carried out on October 22, 2015 and since then, not much has been heard about Alison-Madueke who has now been appointed Trade and Investment Commissioner in Dominican Republic, and offered not just citizenship of the tiny Caribbean Island country but also a diplomatic passport
An EFCC top official one said “With the diplomatic passport, she is immune to arrest by any law enforcement agency, including the Interpol,”
As the illegal dealings of more politicians and public office holders are being revealed, we fear it is becoming a norm to pull the slump or sickness stunt to either evade arrest from security agencies, probe by government Committees or trial by the court