By James Emejo in Abuja
The South-east Caucus of the House of Representatives Monday warned former Senate Leader, Senator Ali Ndume, and “his cohorts” to desist from interfering in the statutory and professional job of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the interrogation of the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu.
It said it would hold Ndume and other senators working with him responsible should any harm befall Ekweremadu, adding that the senator’s “rascally comments” as conveyed in a national daily on Monday had further unmasked the real issues and those behind the deputy Senate president’s ordeal.
The caucus, in a statement issued by its leader, Hon. Chukwuka Onyema (PDP, Anambra), said: “We have closely watched events around the National Assembly, especially the ruthless attempts to emasculate the opposition and unseat the Senate leadership by all means possible.
“We have also followed the ongoing investigation by the EFCC of the allegations levelled against the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu. Despite our doubts, we have maintained our calm, hoping that the law would take its natural cause to vindicate the innocent.”
The lawmakers said:“However, like every responsible and patriotic Nigerian, we have every reason to worry after reading the comments by Senator Ali Ndume claiming that the EFCC is treating Ekweremadu with kids gloves and, therefore, canvassed for Ekweremadu’s detention and indictment by the agency in spite of the obvious ill health of Senator Ekweremadu.
“While Ekweremadu needs to be alive to face his investigation, Ndume prefers to push EFCC to compromise the health of Ekweremadu no matter the possible outcome.
“Indeed, reading Senator Ndume’s comments clears every iota of doubt that himself and some other APC senators and cabals are behind the ordeal of the Deputy Senate President and that this investigation has to do with the remorseless efforts to unseat the Senate leadership.”
Continuing, it said: “It is now easier to link the hostage-taking of Senator Ekweremadu and attempted hostage-taking of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, on 24th July 2018 by agents of the State on a day both were supposed to be presiding over the Senate.
“Meanwhile, we are not restraining the EFCC from heeding Senator Ndume’s hate speech and prompting to act unprofessionally, detain Ekweremadu or act in ways inimical to his health and wellbeing, but we surely know those to hold responsible should anything happen to Ekweremadu.”
The caucus recalled that Senator Ndume was never mistreated when he was charged with alleged terrorism and links with Boko Haram.
“We vividly recall that on the day Senator Ndume was charged alongside the former Boko Haram spokesperson, Ali Sada Umar Kunduga, he explained to the court that he was suffering from prostate cancer and was granted unfettered access to his doctors and lawyers.
“If such was extended to someone standing trial at the time for after the conclusion of investigation on matters as serious and treasonable as terrorism, we see no reason he should be so pained that the EFCC is professionally respecting the right to health and wellbeing of a fellow senator, who is only undergoing investigation.
“The only explanation is that Ndume and those who wrote the unfolding script are more interested in effecting leadership change in the Senate by hook or crook,” it said.