The Police High Command last night debunked the alarm raised by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that the police were planning to arrest Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu.
PDP had said Ekweremadu was invited by Inspector General of Police Solomon Arase to respond to an accusation that he tinkered with certain provisions of the Senate Standing Rules to enable him to stand and win the June 9 election in the Senate.
Specifically, PDP said Ekweremadu was asked to report at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, on Monday to answer questions about a petition said to have been filed against him by a group of senators, but it was a ploy to arrest the Deputy Senate President.
However, Force Assistant Spokesman, CSP Abayomi Shogunle said on Sunday that the issue of arrest of a Senator does not arise as the police observe the norms of democracy.
According to Shogunle, a Senator wrote a petition to the IGP that the rules of the house was changed so as to pave way for the election of Ekweremadu.
Based on the petition, the IGP directed the DIG (Force CID) to investigate the matter.
Consequently, Shogunle said, after the preliminary investigations the Force CID wrote to the Clerk of the National Assembly to arrange the time and place for police investigators to meet with some Senators for interrogation and up till the time of filing this report at 9.50pm, the Clerk had not responded to the demand of the police.
Also, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has said it has nothing to do with the reported police invitation of Senator Ekweremadu, over which the PDP has released an outlandish statement containing all sorts of imaginary claims.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed, APC’s National Publicity Secretary, said in a statement in Abuja on Sunday that the party neither wrote a petition to the police nor is it aware that any petition was written against the Deputy Senate President.
“If, as the PDP claims, the petition concerns alleged altering of the Senate’s Standing Rules on the process of electing Presiding Officers, that is a clear case of forgery which the police have a duty to investigate. Questioning the right of the police to carry out their duties in this regard amounts to intimidating the security agency.
”Forgery is a crime that is being regularly investigated by the police, and it beggars belief that such investigation will now be interpreted to mean that Nigeria is descending into dictatorship or that democracy and the enjoyment of personal freedoms are now endangered. These claims by the scaremongering PDP are far-fetched and preposterous,” APC said.
It added that if indeed there is a petition against Senator Ekweremadu, he should gladly heed the invitation by the police so he can clear his name, adding that no one is above the law.
”President Muhammadu Buhari has repeatedly said that at every point, the law must be supreme and everyone must respect the law, if the nation’s democratic system is to survive.
“Extrapolating a police invitation of anyone, no matter his status, to mean the onset of dictatorship is itself an invitation to lawlessness and anarchy, which permeated the long but ineffective rule of the PDP,” the party said.