Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, has assured his supporters that his current travails in the hands of the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government would end in praise.
Ekweremadu said he had absolute faith in God as he had done nothing wrong to warrant the continued harassment by the security agencies and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
“So, my hands are clean. But if the EFCC wants me to come and answer that, I am prepared to answer any call from anybody as a responsible citizen. Even at that, I will continue to advocate justice, rule of law, and equity,” he said.
The lawmaker said several attempts had been made to remove him as Deputy Senate President but failed.
Ekweremadu said these when the Archbishop of Enugu Province, Anglican Communion, Most Rev. Emmanuel Chukwuma, led a delegation of clergies of Enugu Diocese of the Church on a solidarity visit to his Enugu residence on Sunday evening.
This was made known in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media, Uche Anichukwu, in Abuja on Monday.
The Deputy Senate President said: “When people say they are not sure there is God, I say, ‘Come, let me tell you my story; when I finish my story, you will know whether there is God or not’ My story is one of those that establish actually that there is God. So, what you see now will also pass because there is no battle that God cannot fight for me.
“There have been several attempts to remove me as the Deputy President of the Senate, but, I am not worried because it is God that gives power and it is only Him that can take it.”
Ekweremadu pointed out that he had never been in a position to manage public finances or award contracts all through his political career.
2023: North Has Learnt Its Lessons With Buhari — Sheikh Gumi
Islamic scholars, Sheikh Ahmed Gumi, has described Nigerians as very sentimental people who do not learn lessons.
In an interview with Sunday Sun, the Islamic scholar spoke about the 2023 elections, President Muhammadu Buhari and what is going on in the country.
Speaking on the coming 2023 elections, Gumi said stability is what is important now and not regional politics.
He explained that Nigeria is not about who leads from which region. He said what Nigeria needs is a crop of smart and intelligent Nigerians and it has nothing to do with whether the person is from the north, south, east or west.
According to him, the north has learnt its lessons with President Buhari. He said: “The north has learnt its lessons. Now, north is worse hit with Buhari. Jonathan was building 150 Almajiri schools, nine universities in the north. He was doing things. This Kaduna-Abuja rail, although the late President Umar Yar’Adua started it. So, let’s have somebody who can do it.”
Listing the qualities of the kind of leader Nigeria needs, he said such a person must be alert, intelligent, not take revenge, be forgiving, rehabilitate and not kill or imprison.
He added that the person’s mind should not be about catching people, but correcting them.
Asked if he has noticed any difference in the country since its return to democratic rule in 1999, he said there is development in the world as technology has made things better. He, however, said there is retrogression in government.
“Things are supposed to improve because science and technology have brought development close to the people. Government is retrogressing simply because we don’t have the right people in the right place and at the right time. Nigeria’s situation now is worse,” he added.
We Won’t Declare Kalu’s Seat Vacant — Senate
The Senate on Friday ruled out the possibility of declaring vacant, the seat of its Chief Whip, Senator Orji Kalu, following his conviction by a Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday.
Kalu, a former governor of Abia State, was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment over a N7.65bn fraud charges against him since 2007 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The judgment was delivered by Justice Mohammed Idris, 12 years after the EFCC filed the suit against him.
Kalu was convicted alongside his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited, and Jones Udeogu, who served under him as the director of finance and account at the Abia State Government House in Umuahia.
Reacting to the calls on the leadership of the Senate to declare his seat vacant, the Spokesperson for the red chamber, Senator Godiya Akwashiki, said it was not possible.
He said such a request would only be considered after the embattled senator had explored all the legal options available to him without success.
Akwashiki argued that the constitution of Nigeria does not mandate the Senate President to unilaterally declare the seat of any senator facing prosecution or convicted by a lower court, vacant.
He said, “The Senate has no reason to declare his seat vacant. This is not the first time that such a thing would happen.
“There is no provision in the constitution that says the seat of any senator facing prosecution or convicted at a lower court should be declared vacant.
“He still has the opportunity to appeal the case.
“Even the tenure of a former governor Joshua Dariye, who has been in prison for some time now, ran its course until the end of the 8th National Assembly. Nobody declared his seat vacant.
“The Senate President cannot declare the seat of Kalu vacant. It is against the law.
“Tell those who are canvassing such things that there is nothing like that, it is a non-issue,” the Senate spokesperson added.
On whether Kalu will continue to receive salaries while in prison, Akwashiki said the National Assembly bureaucracy determines the payment of senators based on the template from the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Allocation Commission.
N40m Allegedly Stolen In Bayelsa Govt House
Not less than N40 million was on Friday, December 6, declared missing in the office of Ebizi Ndiomu-Brown, the deputy chief of staff to the Bayelsa state Government House.
The Nation reports that about seven policemen and officials of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) have been arrested and detained as possible suspects linked to the development at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the state police command.