The office of the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, has denied reports that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, came up with fresh list of properties allegedly illegally acquired by him during his interrogation on Wednesday.
ANOTHER HONOUR BESTOWED ON ME A “Lifetime Achievement Award for Leadership in Education” was bestowed on me at the weekend by the ICT University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA, during the 5th Commencement Ceremony of the Cameroon campus of the University. I delivered the keynote address at the graduation ceremony in which I warned that Africa’s march to greatness may never be realised until leaders devote themselves to building egalitarian societies where no man is oppressed, but everyone is given the opportunity to excel, irrespective of gender, religion, tribe or political affiliation. The just concluded FIFA World Cup in Russia leaves us with loads of lessons. More than half of the French 23-man squad- Umutiti, Pogba, Mbappe, Dembele, Kante, among others- are young men of African origin given the opportunity to excel, not minding their roots. Giving everyone the opportunity to become the best he or she is capable of also accounts for the success of nations like the USA. It is called the American dream. Unfortunately, most of Africa’s crises, conflicts, restiveness, and separatist agitations have their roots in injustice and inequity, especially the failure of leaders to do justice to all manner of people as contained in their oaths of office. If Africa has to move away from conflicts and underdevelopment, then we must first enthrone justice and equity to give everyone a sense of belonging and create opportunities for everyone to happily and patriotically contribute his or her quota. We must learn to accommodate and provide equal opportunity and development for all parts of our countries, irrespective of their religion, ethnicity, and political persuasion if we want peaceful and indissoluble nations”. I reminded the graduands that Africa is for Africans to develop as nobody will drop from the moon to develop Africa. Nobody abandons his or her farm because it is overgrown by weeds.
The office, in a statement issued by Mr. Uche Anichukwu, Special Adviser (Media) to the Deputy President of the Senate, also denied that the ‘fresh facts’ led to Ekweremadu’s ‘sudden illness’.
According to the statement, there was no interrogation on Wednesday “there was no interrogation whatsoever on Wednesday, let alone presentation of so-called additional “facts” that purportedly triggered his blood pressure.”
It will be recalled that the media, especially social media has been agog with stories of how Ekweremadu suddenly developed high blood pressure when confronted with a fresh list of properties aside the initial 22.
The statement reads: “My attention has been drawn to false reports in some national dailies that the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, developed High Blood Pressure in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) upon alleged presentation to him of a fresh set of purported “hidden properties” supposedly acquired by him. There is no truth to this propaganda.
“It would be recalled that operatives of the EFCC and men of the Nigeria Police laid siege to his residence at about 6am on Tuesday, July 24, 2018, requesting him to report at its headquarters at 10am the same Tuesday.
I attended the Afro-Arab Parliamentary Economic Forum in Rabat, Morocco, this week. The gathering was organised by the House of Councillors (upper legislative chamber of Moroccan Parliament) and I was invited as the Chairman of the Nigeria-Morocco Parliamentary Friendship Group. We had fruitful discussions on utilising the instrument of parliamentary diplomacy to further economic partnerships, food security, sustainable development, and addressing other common challenges facing our various nations. With me also was my colleague, Senator Philip Aduda.
“However, no letter of invitation was delivered to him until around 9am of that day. Since the siege would not allow him to honour the belated “invitation” the same day, he, as a law-abiding citizen, wrote to the EFCC to request for another date, hence the rescheduled appointment of Tuesday, July 31, 2018.
“Senator Ekweremadu honoured the 10am appointment on the fixed date and left in the evening of the same day when he was granted bail on self-recognizance with an understanding that he would report at the EFCC office at 10am the next day for a continuation of the interview.
It was another moment in the sun for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as the Enugu West Senatorial District PDP Zonal Peace Rally was a huge success. The crowd was mammoth. I have been involved in the politics of Enugu state since 1997. Since 1998, there had always been problems in Enugu state every year before general elections. In 2002, ahead of the 2003 general elections, there was also crisis that almost consumed everybody. Enugu State was divided from bottom to top. We survived it. In 2006, ahead of the 2007 elections, there was crisis of succession and related political tussles. Again, we survived it. In 2010, there was also political feud between our brothers in Abuja and those in Enugu. God helped us to survive it. In 2014, Enugu was also divided; we managed to survive it. This is 2018. There will be elections in Enugu next year, but everywhere is peaceful in this state because we have a governor, who has brought permanent peace to the State. There is peace between the workers and the government; there is peace between those in Abuja and those in Enugu; there is peace between PDP and APC and other political parties in Enugu State. There is peace between the various parts of the state. Coming from the National Assembly, I know what is going on in many states. But Enugu has been peaceful and there is security of lives. God has been very faithful and kind to our State, but we will not take it for granted. That was why we came together to thank God for the peace we enjoy and celebrate our governor, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, who has made it possible. He has, through his peaceful dispositions and leadership qualities, brought enduring peace to the State. The Governor, on his part, appreciated the people of Enugu West for the good example shown and called for prayers for the continued peace and development in the State. The Peace Rally was attended by government functionaries, our national, zonal, and state party leaders as well as our illustrious sons and daughters of Igbo land and Nigeria.
“He reported at the EFCC on Wednesday, August 1, 2018, at 10am as scheduled, but informed them that he was not feeling well, a fact the EFCC doctor confirmed.
“He was then allowed to leave to see his doctor and it was agreed that a new date would be fixed for continuation of the interview.
“So, there was no interrogation whatsoever on Wednesday, let alone presentation of so-called additional “facts” that purportedly triggered his blood pressure.
“Likewise, there were no new “facts” presented to him the previous day, Tuesday, July 31, beside those concocted by the dismissed Chief Judge of Enugu State, Innocent Umezulike and his cohorts in their petition.
RISING KILLINGS: I AM SET TO SPONSOR A BILL INTRODUCING STATE POLICE As part of my first lectures as a Professor and Senior Mentoring Scholar, E-Governance and Strategic Government Studies, Nelson Mandela School of Public Policy and Social Sciences, Southern University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA, I had a very interesting interactive session with Fulbright Scholars, Exchange Scholars, and Graduate Students at the International Centre for Information and Nelson Mandela Institute of Research. My impression is that the world is very disturbed about the spate of the killings in Nigeria as so many questions were posed to me on the matter. The scholars also wanted to know what the government was doing and how best to address the situation. I took time to explain to them that it is mainly as a result of our policing system, which is quite dysfunctional and unsuitable for a federal system. The states are not constitutionally allowed to recruit, train, and equip enough manpower for the security of lives and property of citizens in their states. Unlike in the United States where the component states, counties, and big institutions set up police service to address their local needs, the Nigerian constitution vests the security of a very vast, multifarious, and highly populated country in hands of the Federal Government. The internal security of Nigeria depends on one man or woman, who sits in Abuja as the Inspector-General of Police. The governor of a state, though designated as the chief security officer of the state by the constitution, cannot direct the Police Commissioner of his State on security matters. The Commissioner will have to clear with the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, who will clear with a Deputy Inspector-General of Police, who will also clear with the Inspector-General of Police, who may in turn need to clear with the President, who is the Commander-in Chief of the Armed Forces. By the time the clearance comes, if it ever does, it would have been late.. Nigeria is the only federal system I know, which operates a unitary or centralised policing. Ironically, it was not the case in the beginning. The founding fathers agr
“The Office feels compelled by the mischief and orchestrated media trial to put the “facts” straight on this particular issue. We thank our supporters for their genuine concern and prayers. We equally urge them to remain calm.”