Nigeria’s biggest opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP raised alarm on Sunday that the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC have perfected plans to force Senator Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Senate President out of office.
To this end, according to the PDP, "The Deputy Inspector General in charge of criminal investigation at the Force Headquarters has invited Ekweremadu to appear tomorrow, Monday, July 6, 2015 where he will be detained and put under pressure."
At a press conference held in Abuja, Olisah Metuh spokesman for PDP said the plot was part of threats to life and other forms of intimidation and blackmail against Senator Ekweremadu from the APC since his election as Deputy Senate President.
Ekweremadu was elected Deputy Senate President on 9 June, though he is from the minority PDP.
The Enugu State Senator had defeated Senator Ali Ndume, a member of APC to clinch the position.
However, most members of APC were absent from the Senate chamber at the time of the election.
It was believed that election of Ekweremadu was part of the deal reached by Senator Bukola Saraki with the PDP senators who backed his ambition to become the Senate President against the wish of APC.
Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, the Chairman of APC and President Muhammadu Buhari has insisted that the election of Ekweremadu is unacceptable.
Supporters of Senator Ahmad Lawan who is the APC choice for the position of Senate President have also asked Ekweremadu to vacate the position.
They have also argued that the election of the Deputy Senate President is in violation of Senate Standing Rules.
Specifically, they have alleged that the Senate Standing Rules was rigged to favour the Enugu Senator. Ekweremadu and PDP have rejected the calls.
"Since President Muhammadu Buhari’s statement that Senator Ekweremadu’s election was ‘unacceptable’ to his party, the Deputy Senate President has come under threats and intense pressure from APC leaders to resign and allow a senator from the ruling party to take his position.
The party said the latest plot to force Ekweremadu out involved the use of the Police.
Read The PDP's Statement In Part…………………………….
“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 APC preferred senator to take over his position.
“We are aware that some APC senators opposed to the emerge 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, Monday, July 6, 2015 where he will be detained and put under pressure.
“Apart from the fact that the Nigerian Constitution clearly guarantees the two chambers of the National Assembly the powers to regulate their proceedings without external interferences, we note that the petition by this group of senators who enjoy the sympathy of some APC leaders lacks merit as Senator Ekweremadu or any other senator-elect prior to the inauguration of the Senate and the election of presiding officers, could not have been involved in the process of producing the 2015 Standing Rules of the Senate which was strictly done by the bureaucracy under the Clerk to the National Assembly”
“Furthermore, Senator Ekweremadu was not in any way involved in the process other than being nominated for the position of the Deputy Senate President and could not have been privy to the secret ballot procedure adopted by the National Assembly bureaucracy, which has been widely adjudged as transparent and credible”.
"Apart from plans to use security apparatus against the Deputy Senate President, it also has information that there are instructions to certain officials at the now National Electoral Commission to alter some electoral documents and records in order to create the impression that Senator Ekweremadu did not file proper documents for the general elections to eventually pave way for his removal.
“In line with the above plot, the APC has been having secret meetings with some judges and lawyers to procure injunctions to prevent Senator Ekweremadu from playing his role as the Deputy Senate President.
“We are also aware that part of the plot is a conspiracy to tarnish Senator Ekweremadu’s image and open him to public ridicule. Last Monday, some APC leaders met in Abuja to perfect a plot to blackmail the Deputy Senate President by planting outlandish publications against him in the media”
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