The Civil Society Network Against Corruption has demanded the investigation of the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, over his petition accusing Justice Adeniyi Ademola of bias in a suit involving the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples’ Democratic Party.
In a petition to the Independent Corrupt Practices (and Other Related Offences) Commission, the group accused Mr. Ekweremadu of attributing the judge’s ‘bias’ to his close relationship with the national leader of the APC, Bola Tinubu, without providing any evidence.
Mr. Ekweremadu, a lawyer, is a member of the PDP.
”The burden of proof is on Senator Ekweremadu to prove his allegations as contained in the petition in question with impeccable and verifiable evidence,” CSNAC stated in the petition dated January 22 and signed by its Chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju.
“Though we have every reason to believe the allegations are false, misleading, and an attempt to subvert justice through protracted litigation, we still demand your thorough investigation and appropriate action on this matter.”
In the wake of the controversial election that led to Bukola Saraki and Mr. Ekweremadu emerging as Senate and Deputy Senate President respectively, five members of the APC had filed a suit at the Federal High Court, Abuja, challenging the outcome.
Senators Abu Ibrahim, Kabir Marafa, Ajayi Boroffice, Gbenga Ashafa, and Suleiman Hunkuyi had contended that the election which produced Messrs Saraki and Ekweremadu in June, last year, was conducted using a forged version of the Senate Standing Orders.
After hearing the arguments of the parties in the suit, the judge fixed December 14 to deliver his ruling.
But Mr. Ekweremadu filed a petition to Ibrahim Auta, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, seeking for the re-assignment of the case to another judge.
The senator alleged that the judge’s wife was recently appointed Head of Service in Lagos State due to the judge’s closeness with Mr. Tinubu.
CSNAC said the ICPC Act makes it an offence for anyone to make statements which are false or intended to mislead to a public officer.
“It can be deduced that the Deputy Senate President’s declaration in the said application which were not supported by any evidence, according to the newspaper report, were merely calculated to mislead the Honourable court and bar it from exercising its constitutional functions,” the group said.
“You will agree with us that if truly the allegations made by Ekweremadu in the said application were true, he ought to have substantiated his claims with incontrovertible evidence which he has failed to do.
“As a legal practitioner himself, Ekweremadu is not unaware of remedies available to him, through appeal to appellate court, where he is dissatisfied with the ruling of a judge, such as in this matter.
“Initiating a petition of this nature, at a time when judgment is reserved by the trial judge is nothing short of professional misconduct deserving of every penalties under the law.”
The group called for appropriate sanctions to be meted to Mr. Ekweremadu if found culpable.
“The descent of an occupant of 6th highest position in the country to such reckless and ignominy is reprehensible,” the group added.