IT emerged Monday that Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu may have been joined by immediate past Senate President, David Mark, Clerk of the National Assembly, Salisu Maikasuwa, former Senate leader, Victor Ndoma Egba, and former chairman of Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Solomon Ita-Enang to answer a police invitation in connection with the alleged Senate rules forgery.
A team of police officers were said to have visited the National Assembly seeking to officially brief Senate President Bukola Saraki with a view to getting his permission to interrogate those it invited. But the Police have denied inviting Ekweremadu and the others, saying the matter was only being investigated.
The Deputy Force Public Relations Officer (DFPRO) Abayomi Shogunle, a Chief superintendent of Police (CSP) told t he Guardian yesterday at the Louis Edet House in Abuja that although there is little information that can be given out at the moment, the case is been investigated, but we did not invite him, quite contrary to the reports in the papers today.
“We cannot send out invitation any individual on a case like this, what we have done is notify the Clerk of the House of Assembly of the said petition, as procedure requires, so as to enable us carry out an unhindered investigation”, he said.
This is coming on the heels of the declaration of support by governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for Ekweremadu and others invited by the police over the alleged Senate rules forgery. Meanwhile, former Senate President, Senator Ken Nnamani on Monday declared that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) erred by seeking to enforce party supremacy on the floor of the senate.
In a related development, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) yesterday alleged that the decision by the Inspector General of Police Mr. Solomon Arase to probe Ekweremadu was politically motivated It has been confirmed that the petition sent to the Inspector-General of Police complaining about alleged forgery of the Senate rule book 2015 was written by a group of senators called Unity Forum and signed by the secretary, Suleman Othman Hunkuyi.
In his reaction, Ekweremadu assured Nigerians and concerned members of the international community that everything was under control and that necessary steps were being taken to beef up security around his person.
He sad: “In all these however, let it be known that no amount of intimidation or harassment will deter me from carrying out the constitutionally prescribed duties, which on June 9, 2015, Peoples Democratic Party and All Progressives Congress senators willingly elected me in the full glare of the world to perform.”
In a statement released in Abuja by the media office of the PDP governors’ forum, and signed by Patrick Okon, the governors frowned at what it described as the obvious prodding of the police by the Presidency and the APC as a result of their desperation to remove the Deputy Senate President who was elected by his peers.
The statement also declared support for the re-election bids of governors Seriate Dickson of Bayelsa and Idris Wada of Kogi state in the forth coming governorship elections in their states, noting that the people will show their confidence in the performance of their governors by re-electing them convincingly.
In a statement by the national coordinator of HURIWA, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, the group said if the IGP wasn’t partisan he could have routed the petition to the police chief within the National Assembly who should originate any investigative findings before taking it up from there if there are verifiable and credible evidence.
Speaking at the public presentation of the book: Nigeria’s Fourth Republic National Assembly: Politics, Challenges and Media Perspectives, written by Dr. Austin Uganwa, Nnamani said that the events of June 9, which led to the failure of the APC to influence its choices as presiding officers of the National Assembly occurred because the party misread the issue of party supremacy.
He stated that once senators are elected, they become senators of the Federal Republic and that once a Senate President emerges, he becomes the Senate President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, dumping the partisan toga.
Source: The Guardian