APC still firmly focused on ousting Ekweremadu

By Post Nigeria July 6, 2015 14:35

APC still firmly focused on ousting Ekweremadu

The past weekend revealed the lengths the All Progressives Congress, APC, will go in its bid to use undemocratic means to dominate the legislative Houses, when the party conspired to arrest the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu on allegations of forgery.

The APC, since the dramatic election of Senators Saraki and Ekweremadu, have had their sights set on ousting the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Deputy Senate President on the basis of what they termed Saraki’s “treacherous alliance” with the former ruling party.

This is in addition to the party having a pre-ordained choice of second-in-command before the seat was “usurped.” Internal crises have rocked the party and spilled into the Senate with many APC party supremacists calling for Ekweremadu’s head.

President Muhammadu Buhari himself is said to have referred to Ekweremadu’s Deputy Senate Presidency as “unacceptable.”

In this latest plot, Ekweremadu is said to have been summoned by the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase to answer charges of alleged forgery of the Senate Rules on election of principal officers; a move, which the APC is insisting influenced the election of the leadership of the current Assembly.

Olisa Metuh, the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, swiftly decried this current allegation, citing police intimidation as the APC’s new tool to oust Ekweremadu.

He also raised alarm about several other underhand dealings supposedly going on at different levels including the judiciary, to ensure that Ekweremadu’s reputation and safety are compromised.

On the allegations of forgery; updates to the Standing Rules of the Senate are reported to occur every 4 years prior to the resumption of a new administration/Assembly, but it is on record that these changes are implemented by the bureaucracy under the Clerk to the National Assembly, hence PDP’s agitation that the investigation into Ekweremadu is suspicious and malicious.

    “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,” Metuh explained.

Apparently these new allegations, being fanned by the party supremacists took hold when Senator Kabiru Marafa rose, not for the first time, on the differences in the Senate standing order on the June 24, 2015, claiming that he could not recall when the Senate standing order of 2011 was amended for 2015.

Marafa had initially risen on this same issue, a day after the inauguration and election of Saraki and Ekweremadu, but was summarily ruled out of order by the Senate President.

He argued that going by the last Senate order of 2011 which he claimed is the appropriate version, the process of election of the June 9 election of a Deputy Senate President would be invalid.

Ekweremadu had immediately offered clarifications to Marafa, referring him to section 64 of the constitution while reminding him that he is still rather green in matters of the workings of the House.

    “He is just 4 years old in this Senate, some of us have been here for 12 years, from 1999 till date this senate has formed its own closed rules spanning 1999 to 2015,” Ekweremadu had said.

As the situation heats up, it remains to be seen how the alleged charges against Ekweremadu will be probed, or, going by the Force Headquarters statement, if he will be the only one probed.

The Force Headquarters had claimed that Ekweremadu was not singled out.

The Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Abayomi Shogunle, clarified in the statement that the investigation was for all the principal officers involved in updating the rules.

    “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.

    “No invitation was sent to the deputy senate president. It’s not about an individual, but about those that should be in the know of the senate rules and standing orders. The investigation is being led by the DIG, FCID,” Shogunle said.