There were strong indications over the weekend that the police might
arrest the Deputy Senate President, Senator lke Ekweremadu, and some
former principal officers of the 7th Senate this week.
senators might be arrested for snubbing a police invitation to answer
questions on their roles in the alleged forgery of the rules of the
Senate in 2015
We gathered on Saturday that the Force Criminal
Intelligence and Investigations Department, Garki Abuja, which is
investigating the alleged forgery, was waiting for the Inspector General
of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, to approve the arrest of the principal
A reliable source at the Force Headquarters
confided in one of our correspondents that some senior police officers
would meet over the issue at the beginning of the week. After the
meeting, the investigation department would be asked to arrest the
affected principal officers before the end of the week.
2015, the police had invited some principal officers of the Senate over
the alleged forgery of rules used for the election of Saraki, his deputy
and the inauguration of the 8th Senate.
The police, in another
letter dated June 7, 2016 and signed by Assistant Inspector General of
Police, James Caulcrick, had requested the officials of the 7th Senate
to report to the Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation
Department, Garki, Abuja, for the purpose of conducting further
investigations on the fraudulent use of the Senate Standing Order 2015
(as amended) by the Senate.
In the letter, Caulcrick noted that
none of the officials on the 7th Senate list had honoured an earlier
invitation to respond to the allegations against them, except the Clerk
of the National Assembly and that of the Senate.
gathered that the planned arrest of the principal officers would be a
prelude to the hearing of the forgery suit filed against some of them at
a Federal High Court, Abuja.
The source told Sunday PUNCH that
the police leadership had come to the realisation that they might have
to apply “lawful force to compel obedience and cooperation” from the
He stated, “Since the suit has been filed, we will
arrest the men if they fail to honour our invitation. We are only
waiting for the go-ahead from the IGP. We are hoping to pick them up
this week or before the hearing of the suit begins.”
directive by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of
Justice, Abubakar Malami, to the IGP the police had submitted the final
report of their investigation to the Ministry of Justice for the
prosecution of the affected officers.
The Force Public Relations
Officer, Bisi Kolawole, could not be reached for comment as she did not
respond to calls to her phone. She had yet to reply an SMS that was sent
to her as of the time of filing this report
But Kolawole had, a few weeks ago, confirmed to one of our correspondents that the police had returned the case file to the AGF.
understand that the case file is in the AGF’s office that they are to
charge the case to court from their end,” she had said in an SMS.
We have not received court papers — Saraki, Ekweremadu
contacted, aides of the President of the Senate and his deputy said
their bosses had yet to be served with the court process on the suit
instituted against them by the Federal Government over the alleged
forgery of the order used for their inauguration as presiding officers
of the 8th Senate.
The Senate President’s Special Adviser on
Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, and his counterpart in the Deputy
Senate President’s office, Uche Anichukwu, who spoke in separate
telephone interviews with our correspondent on Saturday, said their
principals read the news in the media, like other Nigerians.
in his reaction, said, “We read the story just like any other Nigerian.
We have not been served with any court documents so we don’t have the
details. Whatever action that would be taken would be after studying the
court papers on the suit.
“We cannot make comments on the issue
at the moment but we are watching events as they unfold. We read
newspaper reports about police inviting officers of the 7th Senate
yesterday for questioning on the issue and today the story is different.
Our reaction will come later.”
Anichukwu, the media aide to
Ekweremadu, also said, “The deputy president of the senate read the
story in the newspapers; we are waiting for details from those who filed
the suit before we can react.”
However, a source in the office
of Ekweremadu told our correspondent in confidence that some people who
were under pressure from “some powerful people in the President
Muhammadu Buhari government” were behind the suit.
said, “The police told reporters last year that Ekweremadu was not
invited by the police over the forgery saga. However, a year after, the
police wrote a letter claiming that Ekweremadu and others failed to
honour their invitation for investigation since last year.”
Charge No. CR/219/16 filed by the office of the Attorney General of
Federation on 10th June, 2016, the Federal Government of Nigeria
(complainant) slammed a two-count charge of “criminal conspiracy,
contrary to Section 97 of the Penal Code Law” and “Forgery contrary to
362 of the Penal Code Law” against Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu.
charged to court were the immediate past Clerk to the National
Assembly, Abubakar Maikasuwa, and the Deputy Clerk to the National
Assembly, Benedict Efeturi. Former senate president, Senator David Mark,
and former Majority Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba were not charged.