Pro-democracy group slams fresh forgery suit against senate leaders
A pro-democracy group, Centre for the Advancement of Literacy and Leadership (CALL), has described the forgery suit by the Federal Government against the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and his deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, as a witch-hunt and a plot to ground the Senate.
CALL also described the invitation of the former senate clerk and some leaders of the 7th Senate for interrogation over alleged forgery of Senate Standing Orders 2011, as mischievous.
In a statement signed by the Executive Director, Mazi Bismarck Oji, the group noted that the Assistant Force Public Relations Officer (AFPRO), Mr. Abayomi Shogunle, had in July last year, said that though the police team met with the ex-Clerk to the National Assembly, Mr. Salisu Maikasuwa, they neither invited nor interrogated Senator Ekweremadu.
It therefore wondered when the Police interacted with Ekweremadu, to warrant the deposition to the affidavit at the Federal High Court Registry, Abuja and dated 10th June 2016, attached to the fresh suit, where it claimed that investigation had been completed.
“The most annoying part of the whole thing is the reported recent letter to the CNA tagged “reminder” and also referring to a purported letter of July 2015; you can only remind what has been earlier attempted or requested; and if you said you did not invite them, what then are you reminding?” the Centre queried.
Wondering the difficulty in sending an invitation to Saraki, Ekweremadu, David Mark and others directly, instead of pretending to invite them through the Clerk, the Centre contended that it was awkward to file criminal charges against people on serious allegation as forgery without any active attempt to extract statements from them.
“It is even worse to try to obtain from the backdoor a statement after you have filed charges, because it shows somebody is desperate to nail somebody,” Bismarck further said.
While alleging that it was evident the Federal Government was desperate to put Ekweremadu in the dock in order to embarrass him, silence the opposition and cripple the institution of the Senate, CALL recalled “each time Saraki goes to attend to his case, Ekweremadu presides.”
CALL further said: “Now there is no way Ekweremadu will be facing trial alongside Saraki that the Senate will function. It is therefore a ploy to destabilize the Senate and compel senators to do away with Saraki and Ekweremadu to avoid a vacuum or shut down.