ABUJA (Sundiata Post) – Following their first appearance, Monday, in Court Room 32, FCT High Court, Jabi, Abuja, for allegedly forging the Senate Standing Rules (2015 as amended), Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has claimed that “the hallowed democratic principles of separation of powers, rule of law, the legislature itself, and indeed democracy are on a ridiculous trial”.
Sundiata Post reports that Ekweremadu is being tried alongside the Senate President, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki, the immediate past Clerk to the National Assembly (CNA), Salisu Maikasuwa, and the Deputy CNA, Benedict Efeture.
Earlier, Saraki had maintained that he would rather go to jail than yield “to the nefarious agenda of a few individuals, who are bent in undermining our democracy and destabilising the Federal Government to satisfy their selfish interests”.
In his reaction to the trial, Ekweremadu warned that the grotesque display of vindictiveness, arrogance, and mindless targeting of innocent citizens should not find a place in Nigeria’s democracy.
Ekweremadu, who pointed out that anarchy is being unleashed upon the land, reiterated that no condition is permanent since nothing lasts forever.
“I presented myself to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court today as an ordinary citizen of this great nation to plead not guilty to charges I did not and could not have committed.
“It is deeply troubling to note that people in high places, who swore to uphold the law, have dwindled into purveyors of falsehood and rumours, who seek to smear and tarnish the reputation of law-abiding and responsible citizens, as well as cripple the hallowed institutions of democracy. It is all the more disheartening that people, who should know better, use the colour of their office to pursue private vendetta against people they disagree with.
“This grotesque display of vindictiveness, arrogance, and mindless targeting of innocent citizens should find no sanctuary in our democracy. Using the machinery of justice to create disorder is a dangerous and invidious scheme that ultimately will lead Nigeria down the road to perdition. It is Senator Bukola Saraki and Senator Ike Ekweremadu today, who knows whose turn it will be next?
“I am a law-abiding citizen and believe in the rule of law and all the rights and privileges it advertises. But, even at that, it is only in my place not to commit crime, but way out of my reach not to be accused of one, especially when instruments of power become apparatuses for oppression of the innocent and voices of opposition.
“Indeed, I, in no way or fashion, claim to be above the law, just that I believe that the law should not be used as an instrument to bludgeon innocent citizens into submitting to the untamed wishes and caprices of witch-hunters.
“However, I put my trust in God, the court, and the overwhelming solidarity of the good people of Nigeria. When the dust settles, Nigerians will see clearly that this charge is nothing but meretricious thrash. Time, occasions, and provocations like this will teach their own lessons. I hope that one chief lesson will be that democracy differs markedly from military rule and that public officer should never subvert the foundations of democracy by prioritising the rule of man over the rule of law.
“Let us make no mistake about this: it is not Senator Ike Ekweremadu or Senator Bukola Saraki or the other accused persons that are on trial; rather the hallowed democratic principles of separation of powers, rule of law, the legislature itself, and indeed democracy are on a ridiculous trial.
“Mere anarchy is unleashed upon the land, but our courage must not fall apart. No condition is permanent and nothing lasts forever.
“For me, I find great comfort in the immortal words of late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe who said that history will vindicate the just and the wicked will not go unpunished,” he said in a statement made available to Sundiata Post on Monday.