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Stop persecuting Ekweremadu – Ohaneze

Friday, 30 September 2016
Senator Ekweremadu, Deputy Seanate President, Nigeria

By Patrick Egwu & Ifunanya Ozougwu, Enugu

(Enugu, Nigeria)Ohaneze Ndigbo National youth wing, has called on the federal government to stop persecuting the Deputy Senate President, Chief Ike Ekweremadu, over the alleged forgery of the senate standing rule.

Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth who made the call after an emergency meeting held recently said that, Chief Ekweremadu, in their estimation, is being vilified because he is an Igboman, and therefore, appealed that the persecution should stop forthwith.

In a release signed by the National President of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Wing, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, posited that Ekweremadu is being persecuted for no just cause by the Federal Government using the instruments of the judiciary.

The released pointed out that they have looked into the case very well and have come to the conclusion that Ekweremadu is not culpable and should be let off the hook.

The Ohanaeze Youth Wing is also convinced that the federal government is using the Attorney General of the Federation to make a mountain out of a mole seeing that Ekweremadu is clean.

The release reads as follows: "having considered all the facts of the matter, the Ohaneze youth wing is convinced that the Deputy Senate President- Senator Ike Ekweremadu, CFR, is being persecuted by the federal government using the instruments of the judiciary.

"All available evidence points to the fact that Ekweremadu's prosecution nay persecution is politically motivated because he is an Igbo man, belongs to President Buhari’s 5 per cent. He is a member of the opposition party, and emerged along with the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki against the dictates of those who want to run the National Assembly from their bedrooms.

"Firstly, neither him nor the Senate President were mentioned anywhere in the report of the police investigation. So, how did they generate their names for prosecution and who did so?

"Secondly, the principle of fair hearing, a fundamental aspect of our jurisprudence was not adhered to since Ekweremadu and Saraki were never interviewed by the Police till date.

"We are not surprised that the AGF has written the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) to conduct further investigation into the matter stating that the investigation was, in his word, “inconclusive,” the release points out.

The release continues: "This then justifies the harsh tone with which the AGF was reprimanded by Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High Court, Abuja over what His Lordship termed a “gross abuse of legal process" and “desperate haste” to prosecute the case. He further stated that the prosecution of the duo while a case challenging police investigation into the Senate's affairs was still pending before him was an aberration of justice by the same man that should protect the interest of justice.

"Therefore, in the interest of national unity, we demand that the federal government refrain from political witch-hunting and ethnic persecution so as to bring everybody together to pull Nigeria out of the doldrums. At this moment when Nigerians are suffering intensely owing to economic recession, there is need for closer collaboration between all arms of government and bipartisan co-operation borne out of patriotism.  As such, the ruling party- the APC must work with the opposition party-the PDP to move Nigeria forward.

"In the light of the above, we call on Justice Haliru Yusuf of the FCT High Court to save the Judiciary from further embarrassment, take Justice Kolawole’s ruling into cognizance, and strike out the case for lack of merit and abuse of court process.

"The AGF in particular should desist from bringing his revered office to disrepute by endlessly shopping for cooked-up evidence to bring down Ekweremadu and Saraki in order to render the legislature toothless.

The group alleged that the AGF obviously has a vested interest in the matter since he was the lawyer to the Unity Forum Senators in the so-called forgery matter before his appointment as the AGF.

The release concluded by saying that the AGF should honorably resign if he cannot separate his personal interest from national interest and the law.

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