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Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Ekweremadu: Police, NASS Clerk, Others Meet Over Petition

The police yesterday visited the clerk of the National Assembly, Alhaji Salisu Maikasuwa, over a petition alleging that the Senate Standing Rule was altered illegally.

The media was awash yesterday with reports that the police had invited the deputy Senate president, Sen Ike Ekweremadu to clear his name over the alleged forgery of the said document.

Deputy force spokesman, CSP Abayomi Shogunle, who spoke with the media on the alleged forgery and invitation of Ekweremadu, said the police never invited Ekweremadu to report at the Force Headquarters over allegation of forgery.

According to him, the petition was against the procedure and not Ekweremadu.

His declaration coincided with the storming of the National Assembly by a detachment of policemen from Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) led by a Commissioner of Police (CP), for investigation of the alleged crime.


The Force CID officers, led by a commissioner of police whose name tag was not displayed on his chest, were said to have left a message for Ekweremadu to appear before them yesterday at Force CID Headquarters, Area 10, Garki, Abuja.

LEADERSHIP recalls that the Nigeria Police had on Sunday invited Ekweremadu to appear at Force Headquarters yesterday following his alleged involvement in forging the Senate rules.

Shogunle disclosed that the police met with the clerk of the National Assembly and some principal officers over the petition.

The police officer confirmed that the meeting took place in the office of the clerk yesterday, saying that a senator petitioned that the Senate standing rule was substituted without the authorisation of the Senate.

Shogunle said the meeting where some senators were questioned followed a request by the police to the clerk to facilitate it. He also confirmed that the petitioner had made a statement to the police over the allegation.

The spokesman who was asked whether the petition was specifically targeted at Ekweremadu said it was not, but “against procedures”.

He affirmed that contrary to the report that the deputy Senate president was invited, the lawmaker was not invited by the police, but he declined further comments, saying that the matter was still under investigation.

The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had on Sunday alleged that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) was planning to use the police to remove the deputy Senate president, a PDP chieftain, from office. The PDP spokesman, Olisa Metuh had alleged that the ruling party was planning to eliminate Ekweremadu.

But the APC spokesman, Lai Mohammed, in a reaction on Sunday, denied the allegations of the PDP, pointing out that the party had no hand in the travails of the deputy Senate president.

I Can’t Be Intimidated – Ekweremadu

Meanwhile, Ekweremadu yesterday declared that no amount of harassment from desperate politicians will deter him from carrying out his constitutionally prescribed duties as deputy president.

He said he was validly elected by the 8th Senate through an election transparently conducted on June 9, 2015.

Responding to allegations by Senator Kabiru Marafa (APC Zamfara Central) that he and some other ranking senators of the 7th Senate forged the Senate Standing Orders 2015, as amended, in the heat of the leadership crisis few weeks back, Ekweremadu submitted that the alleged forgery was an amendment carried out by the 7th Senate preparatory to the take-off of the 8th Senate.

Though Marafa was ruled out of order upon which he based his allegation, another APC senator, Suleiman Hunkuyi (Kaduna North), in his capacity as secretary of the Senate Unity Forum, forwarded a written petition to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) last week on the alleged forgery for thorough investigation.

But Ekweremadu, in a statement issued by his media aide, Uche Anichukwu, said since the news of his purported invitation by the Police broke out on Sunday, he has received calls from numerous

Nigerians across regional and political divides, expressing their solidarity and stressing the need to protect the independence of the legislature.

The statement reads: “In all these, however, let it be known that no amount of intimidation or harassment will deter Senator Ekweremadu from carrying out the constitutionally prescribed duties, which on June 9, 2015, PDP and APC senators willingly elected him in the full glare of the world to perform.

“The deputy president of the Senate further wishes to assure Nigerians that necessary steps are being taken by the security agencies to beef up security around him.

“Senator Ekweremadu wishes to assure all Nigerians and concerned members of the international community that everything is under control and that all democratic steps are being taken to preserve the nation’s democracy

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