Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Ekweremadu writes UN, U.S., EU over forgery trial

Worried about the implications of the alleged forgery of Senate standing rules, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, has written to ‎the United Nations, European Union, United States’ Congress, European Union Parliament, governments of United States, United Kingdom and other foreign missions, alerting them of imminent threat to Nigeria’s democracy.‎
‎Ekweremadu raised the alarm over what he described as attempt to truncate Nigeria’s democracy and “silence him as the leader and highest ranking member of the opposition in the country, all in the name of prosecuting an alleged forgery case.”
In a two-page letter, titled: “Re: Trumped Up Charges Against the Presiding Officers of the 8th Senate: Nigerian Democracy is in Grave Danger,” Ekweremadu, attached copies of the court summons and other relevant documents relating to the matter.

He urged the international community, to after a thorough perusal of the facts before them, decide whether or not the trial was justified, or one purely borne out of political vendetta.
He insisted that neither his name nor that of the President of the Senate, featured either in the petition by the aggrieved members of the Senate Unity Forum (SUF), or during the investigation of the petition by the police.
Ekweremadu further urged them to judge “whether this unfolding scenario, coupled with the clampdown on the opposition, such as targeted arrests and indefinite detention of opposition figures and dissenting voices, in spite of court pronouncements and in clear violation of the Nigerian constitution, as well as the sustained marginalisation of the South-East and South-South geopolitical zones of Nigeria, does not constitute a grave danger to the nation’s hard-won democracy.”

“I also wish to appeal to you to kindly find time to read through the annexures- petition by members of the Senate Unity Forum, statements by persons interrogated and the police report, to see if our names appeared anywhere in these documents.
He urged them to determine “whether the Federal Government, acting through the Attorney-General of the Federation, has any justification whatsoever to generate our names for trial.
“Moreover, the rules and principles of fair hearing have not been adhered to because the police have not interacted with me or the president of the senate as at the time of writing this letter,” he added.
Ekweremadu also cited the attempt made on his life on November 17, 2015, for which the Nigerian security agencies did nothing, even though the incident was duly reported.
Meanwhile, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, is expected to appear before the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, on Thursday, to explain why he took the senate leadership to court.
The minister’s appearance is sequel to last week’s resolution, following a motion sponsored by Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi West) titled, “Imminent Threat to Our Democracy.”
A letter from the Senate Committee, inviting the AGF, which was circulated to journalists, stated that the latter was to appear before in his alleged involvement in the suit.