Monday, July 25, 2016

Ekweremadu: Nobody will remove me or push me out of senate

Ekweremadu, along with Bukola Saraki, senate president, and two other persons — Salisu Maikasuwa, former clerk of the national assembly, and Benedict Efeturi, deputy clerk of the legislature — are being tried before an Abuja high court for allegedly forging the senate standing order for their election.

The charges of alleged criminal conspiracy and forgery were brought against them by the federal government, who arraigned the quartet on June 27.

Ever since the commencement of the trial, pressure has been increasingly mounted on Ekweremadu and Saraki to step down as leaders of the senate.

In defiance of such calls, Ekweremadu, through his Twitter account on Sunday, said, “Nobody will remove me; it’s not by our power, it’s not by our might but by the special grace of God.”

“Whether those that bent on seeing me out of the Senate succeed, beneficiaries of my scholarship scheme would still receive free education”, the deputy senate president added.

Also, in a statement released through his media aide, Ismail Omipidan, he maintained that his election followed due process and was backed by law, hence he wouldn’t resign.

“The call for Ekweremadu’s resignation also exposes the hypocrisy of some APC stalwarts. You will recall that when Tambuwal defected (from the PDP) to the APC, all the notable leaders of the party, including Lai Mohammed who was the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, stated clearly that there was nowhere in the constitution where it was stated that the Speaker (of the House of Representatives) must be produced by the majority party; that was their argument. (The current Majority Leader of the House) Femi Gbajabiamila also said so.

“What has now changed? The constitution has not been rewritten; it is the same constitution. And it is very clear that ‘the senators shall elect the Senate President and the Deputy Senate President from amongst themselves.’”

The forgery case against Ekweremadu and others, could not be heard on Monday, June 11 as the presiding judge was said to have gone on vacation.

The trial is expected to begin on September 28.

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