Again, the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, on Sunday reinstated his innocence over the charges of forgery of the
Senate Standing Rules brought against him by the federal government, stressing that his only offence is his emergence as the Deputy President of the Senate against the wishes of the “powers that be”.
Speaking when members of Enugu State Economic Advisory Committee paid a solidarity visit to him at his residence in Enugu, the deputy senate president said that his hands were clean.
Ekweremadu, who is also a member of the high-powered Economic Advisory Committee set up by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi at the inception of his administration, reiterated his commitment to the principles of the separation of power, independence of the legislature, and growth of the nation’s democracy.
He said: “I am indeed humbled by your solidarity. As they say, the true test of a man is not where he stands in the time of comfort; it is where he stands when there is crisis. Many people may not take this step of faith because of the situation we found ourselves in the country; some may be afraid of their liberty and afraid of any reprisals. But you have stepped out to come and show solidarity and ask questions in a matter concerning one of your sons.
“Let me start by saying that I restate my innocence; that I committed no offence or forged any documents; and none of the accused persons to the best of my knowledge committed any offence, let alone forging any document.
“Let me also say that no senator accused me, President of the Senate or the other people of committing any offence. No senator or bureaucrat accused us of forging any document.
“Again, as a lawyer, I know what is called Proof of Evidence; that is the statement of witnesses who are going to confront you with the offence for which you are being charged.
“I was served, and I have read this document (court process) from the first page to the last page; no witness said any of us committed any offence. Our only offence is that Sen Bukola Saraki and myself emerged as President of the Senate and Deputy President of the Senate. Some people found it unacceptable, and that is why we are being charged, not that we committed any offence.”
Earlier, the Chairman of the Committee, Monsignor Prof Obiora Ike, said members were in Ekweremadu’s residence to get his own side of the case as regards what is happening at the National Assembly, and thanked him for granting them audience.
“One more thing, our people stand behind you, our people believe in you and our people are praying for you; and when you are in public service, there is always trouble, but when you are forthright, you will always triumph,” he said.
Prof Ike stressed: “We respect the principles of democracy, which speak of separation of powers among the executive, the judiciary and the legislature. In the year 1625, Montesquieu De Baron, a French philosopher spoke about the separation of powers as a guarantee of true freedom; because he believed that despotism and dictatorship will lead to anarchy, they will lead to lack of freedom.
“But if you separated powers, and regulated them by law, then you had a stable society. And that was in Europe at a time of Monarchism to the enlightenment.”