Nigeria's Democracy In Grave Danger, Says Ekweremadu
Nigeria’s Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekwerenmadu, has written the United Nations, United States’ Congress, United Kingdom, European Union Parliament and foreign missions, seeking the intervention in what he described as an attempt to rubbish the National Assembly.
Senator Ekweremadu write to the international community on Tuesday, barely 24 hours after his arraignment at a Federal High Court in Abuja with the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and two others for alleged forgery of 2015 Senate Standing Rules.
He said a powerful institution as the National Assembly was being ridiculed and rubbished by President Muhammadu Buhari’s government.
The Senator, in the two-page letter entitled: “Re: Trumped Up Charges Against the Presiding Officers of the 8th Senate: Nigerian Democracy is in Grave Danger,” claimed that the nation’s democracy was in grave danger and that their trial for forgery of Senate Standard Rules was an attempt to truncate Nigeria’s democracy and silence him as the leader and highest ranking member of the opposition party.
He attached copies of the court summons, and other relevant documents relating to the matter to the letter.
Senator Ekweremadu is also asking the international community to decide whether or not the trial was worth it, justifiable or one that was purely borne out of political vendetta.
He further stated that neither his name nor that of the President of the Senate featured either in the petition by aggrieved members of the Senate Unity Forum or during the investigation of the petition by the police, a position that their counsel had pointed out in court.
The letter read: “You may further wish to judge for yourself 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 wish to forward to you the court summons containing the trumped-up charges preferred against my person, the President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki, CON; and two others.
“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.
“You may, thereafter, judge for yourself whether the Federal Government, acting through the Attorney-General of the Federation, has any justification whatsoever to generate our names for trial”.
He further claimed that the list of the accused persons appeared to have been politically generated because, saying that, “you cannot by the documents attached, relate any of our names to the offence for which we are now being charged”.
“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.
“You may also wish to judge for yourself whether this trial orchestrated against me is not a political trial, calculated witch-hunt, barefaced intimidation, and a clear attempt to emasculate the parliament and silence me as the leader and highest ranking member of the opposition in Nigeria.
“Meanwhile, it could also be recalled that an attempt was made on my life on November 17, 2015. The Nigerian security agencies did nothing, even though the incident was duly reported”.
Meanwhile, the Presidency in a swift reaction, said it would not argue pointlessly with the Deputy Senate President.
The office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice said it would not comment on the matter since it was in court.