APC, PDP At Loggerheads, As Police Invites Ekeremadu

Ekweremadu

By Tosin Omoniyi

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on Sunday said that the police invitation to the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekeremadu, to appear at force headquarters on Monday over allegations of forging senate rules was a ploy by the All Progressive Congress, APC, to arrest him.

It said there was also a grand plan by the ruling party to use legal tools to remove Ekeremadu from his position in the senate.

In a swift reaction,however, the APC has denied the allegations, calling it a fabrication and insisting that the party had nothing to do with Ekweremadu’s invitation by the police.

Also, the deputy force public relations officer, Abayomi Shogunle, on Sunday provided an insight on why Ekeremadu was invited to come to the force headquarters.

According to Shogunle, Ekeremadu was not being targeted by the police as an individual.

He explained that the police was only investigating a petition by a senator, alleging a forgery of the senate rules and standing orders.
Shogunle said the case was being handled by the Force Criminal Investigation Department, FCID, and expressed the resolve of the police leadership to gather evidence in order to treat the matter.

He added that the FCID had sent a letter to the senate clerk requesting a meeting with principal officers, Ekeremadu included.

“The police didn’t send a letter to the deputy senate president, but to the clerk. What we did was to write to the clerk to facilitate a meeting with some of the senators to verify the allegations that were made, the police have respect for democratic values. But the clerk is yet to respond to the letter,” Shogunle said.

Shogunle said the issue should not be misconstrued as that of “an individual, but about those that should be in the know of the senate rules and standing orders.”

But the PDP’s national publicity secretary, Olisa Metuh, at a press briefing in Abuja on Sunday insisted that Ekeremadu was being singled out by the APC because it was still enraged by his emergence as Deputy Senate President.

He alleged that once Ekeremadu appeared before the team of investigators on Monday, he would be subsequently arrested so that a vacuum could be created at the Senate for a preferred candidate of the APC to occupy.
He also said that the police had been given ‘permission’ by the APC to intimidate the senator.

“We are aware that some APC senators opposed to the emergence of senators Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu as senate president and deputy senate president respectively met last week and concocted a petition, accusing the deputy senate president of altering the senate rules on the process of election of the presiding officers, upon which the police via a letter dated July 1, 2015 and signed by the Deputy Inspector General in charge of criminal investigation at the Force

Headquarters has invited him to appear tomorrow (today), Monday, July 6, 2015 where he will be detained and put under pressure,” Metuh said.

Metuh said the senate standing rules is strictly done by the bureaucracy under the Clerk to the National Assembly and that Ekeremadu could not have been guilty of altering it.

“Apparently to ensure that the agenda is given an official stamp, the Inspector General of Police, acting on instructions, has invited the deputy senate president with a view to arresting him over phantom charges as a build up to incarcerate him, create a vacuum in the senate and pave way for the imposition of an APC preferred senator to take over his position,” Metuh alleged.

He also said the APC was exploring legal loopholes and also expending efforts at the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in order to come up with phony charges that will attempt to reveal that

Ekeremadu did not file the relevant documents at the commission before his elections, tarnish his image, thus paving way for his eventual removal.

He also said that the PDP was alerting Nigerians on the possibility of its leaders being targeted for victimization or worse, political assassinations by the APC.

“PDP would not consider it a mere coincidence if our key leaders suddenly become victims of terror attacks or are suddenly killed by armed robbers. This is especially as we are aware that the APC has even gone to the ridiculous extent of trailing key PDP leaders and bugging their telephone lines,” he said.

However the APC has denied the allegations of deliberately targeting opposition figures for victimization.

In a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday by its national publicity secretary, Lai Mohammed, the party said it did not write any petition against Ekeremadu to the police.

It said however, that the police, as a law enforcement agency had the duty of investigation any alleged infraction of the nation’s laws by any individual or group.

”Forgery is a crime that is being regularly investigated by the police, and it beggars belief that such investigation will now be interpreted to mean that Nigeria is descending into dictatorship or that democracy and the enjoyment of personal freedoms are now endangered. These claims by the scaremongering PDP are far-fetched and preposterous,” the statement said.

The APC urged Ekeremadu to honor the police invitation in order to clear his reputation adding that no person was above the law.

”President Muhammadu Buhari has repeatedly said that at every point, the law must be supreme and everyone must respect the law, if the nation’s democratic system is to survive. Extrapolating a police invitation of anyone, no matter his status, to mean the onset of dictatorship is itself an invitation to lawlessness and anarchy, which
permeated ye long but ineffective rule of the PDP,” the party said.






     

     

    The two major political parties have been embroiled in controversy over the election of principal leaders in both chambers of the national assembly.

    The schism in the ruling party had seen its preferred candidates for both chambers, Ahmed Lawan and Femi Gbajamiala, losing out in the intense power struggle.

    The ensuing confusion in the ranks of the APC had been exploited by the opposition PDP which led to the emergence of Ekeremadu, a PDP legislator, as Deputy Senate President.

    An aggrieved group of APC senators had in the past few weeks called for the resignation of Ekeremadu, a move the PDP has resisted

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