The Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, yesterday, accused the Presidency of desperately witch-hunting him with a view to roping him into a stage-managed corruption scandal in order to incarcerate him and eventually ruin his political career.

He also raised the alarm that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is planning to frame him up and raid his Enugu residence between Saturday, May 6 and Sunday, May 7.

But, the EFCC stated told Ekweremadu “to sleep easy if he is not involved in the looting spree that seems to be the pastime of many Nigerians in the corridors of power.”

Ekweremadu, who brought the alleged frameup plot to the notice of the Senate through a point of order during plenary, said that he did not intend that the issue be debated by the chamber, but for them and the whole world to be abreast of the plot in the offing against him.

According to him, he got wind of the plan from a journalist covering the anti-graft commission, who got hint of the plot and decided to spy on the agency by writing and revealing the development to him.

He told the Senate that the ‘cabal’ in the Presidency had mandated the EFCC to carry out the operation within two weeks by raiding his house in Enugu, during which some planted incriminating objects such as huge sums of money in different currencies and weapons would be claimed to have been recovered and displayed.

Ekweremadu noted that the EFCC, in executing this plot, would be claiming to have received a tip-off from a whistle blower in his state alerting it of a large amount of money of different currencies in the said apartment belonging to him. According to him, the EFCC will say that the money is a proceed of crime.

The EFCC, in a statement by its Head, Media and Publicity, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, stated that the alleged plot to raid Ekweremadu’s house exists only in the very fertile imagination of the Deputy Senate President’s questionable “source”. Uwujaren said there would “be no amount of scare-mongering that will dissuade the EFCC from vigorously enforcing its mandate to rid Nigeria of corruption.”

His words: “The Commission wishes to state in very strong terms that it is not aware of any plot to set up Ekweremadu for any arrest. If any agency is plotting to plant monies and guns in Ekweremadu’s residence, it is certainly not the EFCC as such antics are alien to the Commission.

“Nevertheless, the commission is worried by the alarm and the fact that the highly-regarded Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate would go public with such unverified information without first double- checking with the commission.

This is not only very strange, but smacks of a scripted propaganda campaign to distract the commission by putting it on the defensive. “It must be emphatically stated for the benefit of Senator Ekweremadu and others who share similar misconception and jaundiced views of the EFCC, that the commission does not need any grand plot to arrest and prosecute him if he is found to have violated any law that EFCC enforces.

He does not belong in the category of public officers that enjoy immunity from arrest and prosecution by law enforcement agencies.” Meanwhile, the Senate Caucus of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned the alleged witch-hunt against Ekweramadu, just as it alerted of another plot by the cabal in the Presidency to arrest all ex-PDP governors, other dissenting voices in the country, including the All Progressives Congress (APC) members raising opposition voice against the ills in the present administration.

The caucus, at a press briefing in Abuja, alleged that the Buhari’s ‘cabal’ had perfected plans to use instruments of harassment and intimidation to cow opposition in the country in order to foist authoritarian administration on Nigerians.

The spokesman for the PDP Caucus, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, decried the clampdown on members of the opposition who have spoken out against President Buhari, calling on Nigerians to be aware of the antics of the cabal.

He lamented that Nigeria was gradually sliding into another era of dictatorship, where freedom of Nigerians was trampled upon, vowing that the PDP lawmakers would resist any form of intimidation. The PDP Caucus further called for the immediate release of three former PDP governors who were currently being detained by security agencies.

On planned invasion of Ekweremadu’s apartments by the EFCC, the Caucus said: “The matter of the alleged plan by some persons in the presidency to use the EFCC to harass, intimidate and place the Deputy President of the Senate in detention in the next two weeks, is condemnable and must be disallowed.

We hereby call on peace loving Nigerians to be aware of these insidious plans to cow any dissenting voices in Nigeria. “If we don’t bring a stop to what is happening today, nobody will be safe in this country.

I pray we get over this. We have seen this before and we eventually overcome; this is an attempt at making sure that they muzzle dissenting voices while they are steeped in corruption and corrupt practices like we have seen today when we discussed the matter of the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation.”

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