The protesters also said they would hold the President responsible for anything that happens to the Deputy Senate President
Ekweremadu is on trial, along with the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, for allegedly forging the Senate standing order.
Daily Post reports that they said this during a protest in Awgu, Enugu state on Saturday, July 9, 2016.
The protesters also said they would hold the President responsible for anything that happens to the Deputy Senate President, adding that they will resist any attempt by the All Progressives Congress to remove him from office.
They also marched to the house of a lawmaker in the state, Hon. Toby Okechukwu, where they issued a communiqué saying:
“We, the people of Enugu-West Senatorial District of Enugu State, in a massively attended stakeholders rally in Awgu, headquarters of Enugu-West Senatorial District, today, July 9, 2016, reviewed the state of the nation, especially the politics of bitterness, nepotism, hate and crushing economic hardship, which a narrow cabal in the All Progressive Congress (APC), has unleashed on Nigerians since assuming the reins of power at the center.
In particular, we reviewed the recent politically-motivated trial of the Deputy President of the Senate and former Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Distinguished Senator Ike Ekweremadu, PhD, CFR, on trumped-up charge of forgery, which has added yet another disturbing dimension to the APC-led Federal Government’s unabashed determination to continually harass and overrun our illustrious son and representative.
We noted, with dismay, that:
a) Since the re-election of Senator Ekweremadu as the Deputy President of the 8th Senate on 9th June 2015, the APC has neither hidden its hatred and disgust for the revered Senator nor its declared intention to get rid of him by “all means”, not minding that the process, which produced him and, which was watched live by Nigerians on live television, was credible and transparent.
b) Many high-ranking members of the APC, including the incumbent Minister of Labour and Productivity, had at various times, while speaking about Ekweremadu’s emergence, boasted that they have “so many ways to kill a rat”.
c) While the current political trial did not come to us as a surprise, therefore, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) is yet to tell the world how he generated the name of Senator Ekweremadu and Senator Bukola Saraki for trial when the petitioners, all Senators and National Assembly bureaucrats interrogated by the police, and indeed the police report itself did not mention or indict him and Senator Bukola Saraki in any way.
d) This kangaroo trial, which the Federal High Court, Abuja, on 28th June 2016, described as “an abuse of legal process”, and which the great constitutional lawyer and elder statesman, Prof. Ben Nwabueze (SAN), has described as a “flagrant breach of separation of powers caused by ignorance” poses a grave danger to our democracy and national unity.
e) That this kangaroo trial has continued, although Hon. Justice Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High Court, Abuja, has expressed shock at the “desperate haste” to file criminal charges against the presiding officers of the Senate on 10th June 2016 in contempt of a subsisting suit (FHC/ABJ/CS/646/15) filed by Senator Gilbert Nnaji against the Inspector-General of Police and AGF, challenging the constitutionality of their action in prying into the internal affairs of the Senate.
f) That the AGF, Mr. Abubakar Malami, was a counsel to the defedants before his appointment as the AGF.
g) the learned judge’s perception of this impunity “as steps taken which are beyond serving the ‘public interest’ by the commencement of a criminal trial in the FCT High Court in order to subvert the pending suits in the Federal High Court one of which has been fixed for 6/7/16”.
h) The failure of Nigeria’s security agencies to investigate the 17th November 2015 assassination attempt on Senator Ekweremadu, the nation’s Number 5 citizen and the only son of the South East occupying any substantive position in Federal Government even though it was duly reported to them.
Following the above sad observations, we hereby:
1) Declare that Senator Ike Ekweremadu is a Senator of the Federal Republic, elected with an overwhelming mandate of his people and has remained one of Nigeria’s brightest lawmakers who enjoys the confidence of his colleagues; on account of which he was re-elected the Deputy Senate President for an unprecedented third time.
2) Declare that his re-election into that position did not violate any known convention, practice, and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
3) Declare that the desperation of this cabal within the APC-led Federal Government’s desperation to get rid of Senator Ekweremadu by “all means” is hugely counter-productive and hold ramifying consequences for Nigeria’s political stability and unity.
4) Declare that we will hold the APC-led Federal Government squarely responsible should anything untoward happen to Senator Ike Ekweremadu.
5) Condemn, in the strongest terms, this kangaroo trial of the Senate presiding officers and National Assembly bureaucracy in continued contempt for the rule of law, revered democratic principle of separation of power, court orders, which constitute a dangerous muscling of the judiciary, and “abuse of legal process” (in the words of Justice Kolawole) by the APC-led Federal Government.
6) Call on the APC-led Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, refrain from this culture of political persecution and take immediate steps to arrest the unprecedented hardships faced by Nigerians in the past thirteen months, the nosedive of the naira, the menace of herdsmen who have turned every part of southern and Middle Belt of Nigeria to killing, raping, and maiming fields; the resurgence of restiveness in various parts of the country; the rising culture of inconclusive and poorly conducted elections; and the disturbing fast-diminishing of human rights and political freedoms.
7) Call on the international community to stop playing the ostrich in the face of this dangerous slide to dictatorship and anarchy as against the expected rule of law and democratic freedoms expected in the democracy, which they helped Nigerians to enthrone on 29th May 1999.
In standing up to be counted at this critical juncture in our national life, we want to aver that our observations, resolutions, and declarations, are anchored on a genuine sense of moral justice, patriotism, democratic ethos, and the verdict of history.
In more ways than one, our democracy is on trial, and we call on all patriotic lovers of democracy in this country and beyond to rise to the occasion and reject this cabal’s determination to foist a reign of impunity
As our people say, let the kite perch, and let the eagle perch. But any, which wants to undo the other, may the almighty God break and clip its wings.”
The chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), John Odigie-Oyegun, revealed that it is difficult to accept the emergence of a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) member - Ike Ekweremadu as the Deputy Senate President.