The Peoples Democratic Party has described the withdrawal of the forgery case against the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki; his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, as laughable.
It said that the withdrawal of the case, which also involved both the Clerk and Deputy Clerk of the National Assembly, should not be celebrated.
It will be recalled that the Federal Government, on Thursday, withdrew the case, which was brought before Justice Yusuf Halilu of the Jabi Division of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Abuja, through the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice against the accused persons.
A statement issued by the spokesperson for the PDP, Mr. Dayo Adeyeye, in Abuja, on Sunday, said that the opposition party was rather amused by the sudden realisation by the Federal Government that the case was orchestrated to deal with the legislature.
He said, “We are amused by this sudden realisation of the Federal Government that the so-called forgery case was a shadow chase from the beginning. It was complete nothingness!
“More so, the claim through the lead counsel, Aliyu Umar (SAN), that the withdrawal was on the grounds of respect for the rule of law and hierarchy of the judiciary, demonstrates more of comedy on the side of the Federal Government that has a penchant for legal disobedience and abuse of court processes.”
Notwithstanding, Adeyeye said that the withdrawal justified the PDP’s earlier position that the All Progressives Congress-led administration was on a vendetta mission, and not to govern.
He added that the PDP was worried about the alleged frequent muscling of the other arms of government by the APC-led administration, but added that this action must be curtailed as a matter of urgency “if Nigeria is to practise democracy like other democratic systems across the world, and live as one indivisible nation.”
Adeyeye said, “The principle of separation of powers as propagated in every democratic setting is to allow for checks and balances among the different arms of government in order to prevent excessive or cohesive use of power by any of the organs of government.
“In this context, it was clear to us and other well-meaning Nigerians from the outset that this case of forgery instituted against the presiding officers of the National Assembly was just another bad politics of the APC because the Federal Government under the Penal Code Law has no business with the Standing Rules of the National Assembly as alleged.”
He, therefore, called on the executive arm of government to maintain the sanctity of this principle and desist from alleged unnecessary distractions and acts of impunity against persons, groups and organisations.
“We are in a democracy and not anarchy,” he added.
Meanwhile, Ekweremadu said he had forgiven those behind his arraignment for a crime he never “contemplated,” saying the larger interest of the country towered above his personal interest and feelings.
He urged those in positions of authority to adhere to their oaths of office by being just to all.
Ekweremadu said this in a statement he personally signed on Sunday by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Uche Anichukwu, following the withdrawal of charges of criminal conspiracy and forgery preferred against him, Saraki, and two other former senior bureaucrats of the National Assembly.
The deputy Senate president, who was later received in Enugu by a mammoth crowd of supporters and well-wishers, according to the statement, urged leaders to always put democracy and national interest above every other interest.
Ekweremadu said, “I clearly recall stating on that day (he was arraigned), ‘my great comfort in the immortal words of the late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, that history will vindicate the just.’
“Time has, indeed, vindicated the just and it is victory for democracy. My trust in God, the court, and the overwhelming solidarity of the good people of Nigeria is justified.
“As a Christian, I have forgiven all those behind this for, ultimately, God is the driver of the destinies of men. I believe that Nigeria has to move on, but on the right path of justice and the rule of law. Going forward, we must learn to be just to all in accordance with our oaths of office.”