The police high command last night denied alleged plans to arrest Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu.
Force Assistant Spokesman CSP Abayomi Shogunle yesterday said that the issue of arrest of a Senator does not arise as the Police observes the norms of democratic principles.
According to Shogunle, a Senator wrote a petition to the IGP that the rules of the house was changed so as to pave the way for the election of Ekweremdu.
Based on the petition, he said, the IGP directed the DIG Force CID to investigate the matter.
Consequently Shogunle disclosed that after the preliminary investigations the Force CID wrote to the Clerk of the National Assembly to arrange the time and place for police investigators to meet with some Senators for interrogations and up till thw rime of diling this repoet 9.50 pm, the Clerk has not eesponded to demand od the police.
Also the All Progressives Congress (APC) has said it has nothing to do with the reported police’s invitation of Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, over which the PDP has released an outlandish statement containing all sorts of imaginary claims.
In its own statement issued in Abuja on Sunday by the National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the party neither wrote a petition to the police nor is it aware that any petition was written against the Deputy Senate President.
And that “if, as the PDP claims, the petition concerns alleged altering of the Senate’s Standing Rules on the process of electing Presiding Officers, that is a clear case of forgery which the police have a duty to investigate. Questioning the right of the police to carry out their duties in this regard amounts to intimidating the security agency.
”Forgery is a crime that is being regularly investigated by the police, and it beggars belief that such investigation will now be interpreted to mean that Nigeria is descending into dictatorship or that democracy and the enjoyment of personal freedoms are now endangered. These claims by the scaremongering PDP are far fetched and preposterous,” it said.
APC said if indeed there is a petition against Senator Ekweremadu, he should gladly heed the invitation by the police so he can clear his name, adding that no one is above the law.
”President Muhammadu Buhari has repeatedly said that at every point, the law must be supreme and everyone must respect the law, if the nation’s democratic system is to survive.
Extrapolating a police invitation of anyone, no matter his status, to mean the onset of dictatorship is itself an invitation to lawlessness and anarchy, which permeated the long but ineffective rule of the PDP,” the party said.
But the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), raised an alarm that key opposition elements are in danger as Nigeria’s alleged dictator is prosecuting an all out war on them.
In a press briefing by the party’s national Publicity secretary Olisa Metuh Sunday afternoon, the party said that “our democracy is facing a serious danger. We are at the verge of a quick slide into dictatorship and the personal freedom entrenched in the polity in the last 16 years by the PDP is about to be obliterated.”
The statement reads in parts, “In the last few weeks, key PDP members have become an endangered group for playing their opposition role in providing constructive criticisms to the ruling party in their apparent lack of capacity to get organized and form a government; their interference in the activities of the National Assembly and the demand for the implementation of their campaign promises to Nigerians.
“As we address you today, some key leaders of our party have been under threat since the emergence of the leadership of the National Assembly which did not go the way of the leadership of the APC, particularly, the election of PDP’s Senator Ike Ekweremadu as Deputy Senate President.
“The leadership of the PDP has been made aware of various threats to life and other forms of intimidation and blackmail against Senator Ekweremadu from the APC.
Metuh continue, “As you may know, the APC leaders have not hidden their bitterness and resentment towards Senator Ekweremadu whose offense is the privilege of being elected by his colleagues (APC and PDP senators alike) as Deputy Senate President in line with the Standing Rules of the Senate and the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He said, since President Muhammadu Buhari’s statement that Senator Ekweremadu’s election was ‘unacceptable’ to his party, the Deputy Senate President, who can only be removed by the Senate has come under threats and intense pressure from APC leaders to resign and allow a senator from the ruling party to take his position.
“However, having failed to get him to resign, the APC has now engaged in heinous plots to force him out of office, a design, which totally negates the independence of the legislature and the spirit and letters of the constitution of Nigeria.”
The statement concluded, “We wish to alert all Nigerians and the international community that there is indeed a clear and present danger of threat to the lives of key opposition leaders in Nigeria.”