- The federal government's lawsuit against Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu has continued to rock the House of Representatives
- Okoi Obono-Obla, the chairman of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel (SPIP) has asked Ekweremadu to face his charge
- Obono-Obla's reaction followed Ekweremadu's allegation that the presidential aide was smearing his name
Okoi Obono-Obla, the chairman of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel (SPIP) for the recovery of public property, has dismissed allegations reportedly made by Senator Ike Ekweremadu, the deputy Senate president, that he (Obono-Obla)is tarnishing his reputation over the suit filed against him by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) on behalf of the group.
The federal government had, on Wednesday,October 10, charged Ekweremadu, and a senator, Bassey Akpan with alleged refusal to declare their assets to the SPIP, Vanguard reports.
Reacting to the development, Ekweremadu accused Obono-Obla of attempting to smear his name “in midst of the current political activities.”
However, replying Ekweremadu reaction, Obono-Obla, in a statement published by his media officer, Emmanuel Nwachukwu, said: “Ekweremadu should face his suit against the Federal Government on his non-declaration of asset. His claim of the charge being politically motivated does not hold any water.
“Ordinarily, I wont have dignified him with any response but since he chose to bring an issue that is not relevant to the suit filed against him by the Federal Government to the table, “I think it will be imperative for him to know that I have already instituted a case against the House of Representatives in court over the alleged forgery of a Senior School Certificate.”
“Whether the House of Representatives of the National Assembly has the jurisdiction or power to investigate the Plaintiff’s private life, including seeking for his personal educational data or other personal data from West African Examination Council; his secondary school records; university records etc., under the guise of exercise of its oversight function concerning the Plaintiff Chairmanship of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for Recovery of Public Property?
“Whether the House of Representatives of the National Assembly has the jurisdiction or power to investigate the Plaintiff for an alleged crime of certificate forgery or any crime for that matter?
“Whether the Ad Hoc Committee of House of Representatives of the National Assembly has the jurisdiction or power to investigate the Plaintiff personally outside the terms of reference which was to investigate the legality of Special Presidential Investigation Panel for Recovery of Public Property?
“Whether the purported investigation of the Plaintiff educational qualification is not a classic case of witch hunt, blackmail personal vendetta calculated to defame or malign the Plaintiff?”
The presidential aide said he has also sought the following reliefs: “A Declaration that the Constitution of the Ad Hoc Committee of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly as constituted to try the Plaintiff or investigate for an alleged certificate forgery is unconstitutional, illegal, ultra vires, null and void.
“A Declaration that the Constitution of the Ad Hoc Committee of the to try or investigate Plaintiff for alleged certificate forgery violates the principles of separation of powers as enshrined under sections 4, 5 and 6 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
“A Declaration that the Ad Hoc Committee cannot be the accuser, prosecutor and adjudicator (all rolled into one) concerning the allegation framed or made by it against the Plaintiff.
“An Order setting aside the Report of the Ad Hoc Committee of the House of Representatives as far as it touches or concern the plaintiff.”
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that Ekweremadu, and Akpan had been charged to court by the federal government for allegedly refusing to declare their assets to the special presidential investigation panel for the recovery of public property.
Legit.ng gathered that two separate sets of charges were instituted against the senators on Wednesday, October 10, before Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court in Abuja.
Let’s Talk About Salaries of Nigerian Senators | Legit.ng TV