- Igbo socio-cultural body Ohanaeze Ndigbo described the detention of the deputy Senate president, Ike Ekweremadu, by the EFCC as a “rape on democracy”
- Ekweremadu had on Tuesday reported to the anti-graft agency to answer questions on the multiple assets ascribed to him
- The head of media and publicity of the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, had confirmed that Ekweremadu was being interrogated
Ohaneze Ndigbo, the apex socio-cultural organisation of the Igbo, on Wednesday, August 1, described the detention of the deputy Senate president, Ike Ekweremadu, as a rape on democracy, Vanguard reports.
NAIJ.com gathered that Ekweremadu, after many weeks finally reported to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to answer questions on the multiple assets in Nigeria and abroad ascribed to him.
In a statement issued in Abakaliki, the national publicity secretary of the body, Uche Achi Akpaga, noted that: “The arrest of Senator Ike Ekweremadu lends credence to the fact that democracy is collapsing irretrievably.
“The so-called panel sought and obtained his Assets Declaration Form but could not look at them since it is clearly out on a vendetta and smear campaign.Some of the choice houses which have come under EFCC’s searchlight in the last one year, include those in the UAE, marked: EGG1/1/114 and EGG1/1/115 Emirates Garden, Apartment DFB/12/B 1204 Park Towers, Flat 3604, MAG214 and Villa No.148, MAEEN1 The Lakes, Emirate Hills.
'The others are Boulevard 3901, two flats of Burij Side Boulevard, The Signature; and Room 1903, Hotel Downtown. In the United Kingdom, the politician is reported to have acquired Flat 4, Varsity Court, Homer Street, WIH 4NW London and 52 Ayleston Avenue, NW6, London, while he allegedly secured choice houses, namely 4507 Stella Street, Bellavida Estate, Kissimmee, Florida; 2747 Club Cortile Circle, Kissimmee, Florida and 2763 Club Cortile Circle, Kissimmee, Florida in the United States.
“This is clearly part of the politics of 2019, and is further exposing those who colluded with the dismissed former Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice Innocent Umezulike and his cronies to steal and doctor his will."
Ekweremadu, who arrived the anti-graft agency’s office early in the day, was immediately taken in to meet with his interrogators who confronted him on the many choice properties in Nigeria, United States of America and United Arab Emirates, which they claimed were acquired with proceeds of crime while in public office.
In particular, the detectives confronted Ekweremadu with questions on how he acquired the assets, when and how they were paid for and by who and whether he declared them before the Code of Conduct Bureau as stipulated for all public officers of his standing.
Wilson Uwujaren, the head of media and publicity of the EFCC, confirmed that Ekweremadu was being interrogated by its operatives at press time yesterday.
He said: “It is true that the Deputy Senate President honoured our invitation today and our people are currently talking with him but I will not say anything more than that for now.’’
It was not clear at press time if the operatives would admit Ekweremadu on administrative bail since he is not covered by immunity to avoid being detained.
The assets for which the DSP is being questioned were reportedly discovered by the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property, which has come under serious attack by the National Assembly, which also called for the abrogation of the panel with immediate effect.
NAIJ.com previously reported that a senior special assistant to deputy Senate president, Nnanna Nze, said that acts of intimidation allegedly being unleashed on his principal, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, by the federal government agencies are growing his profile instead of diminishing his status.
He said that the tactics of the siege, anti-graft invitations and other coercive methods employed to make Ekweremadu yield to the machinations of the APC-led federal government were like examinations set to test one’s competence for higher classes.
Nze asked the agencies being used as tools, to reconsider their methods of operation and allow the rule of law to apply like in every decent democracy.
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