Following the release of names of politicians banned from travelling abroad by the presidency, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu has denied being among the people banned.
In a statement by Ekweremadu’s Special Adviser, Media, Uche Anichukwu, the lawmaker said he was not in court with the panel or any other government agency over any corruption case.
He continued, “The attention of the Office of the Deputy President of the Senate has been drawn to a misleading report by a national newspaper that Senator Ike Ekweremadu has been barred from travelling out of the country on the request of the Special Presidential Investigative Panel on the Recovery of Public Property.
“For purpose of clarification and emphasis, the Office wishes to restate that Ekweremadu is not in court with the panel or any other government agency over any corruption case.
“He was rather sued by the SPIP on the grounds that he, in the Panel’s words, allegedly “neglected to declare” his assets “in the manner prescribed by the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property.
“Ekweremadu’s position is that the Constitution demands every public officer to declare his or her assets to the Code of Conduct Bureau every four years, a provision he had since fulfilled, hence his refusal to fill fresh asset declaration forms forwarded to him by the panel contrary to the constitution.
“It is also his position that the Public Property Special Provisions Act, CAP R4 LFN, 2004, otherwise known as Decree No 3, 1984, which the Panel relied on to charge public officials to court has become obsolete and the power to investigate non-asset declaration is now vested in the Code of Conduct Bureau by the 1999 Constitution (as amended). Therefore, only the Code of Conduct Bureau can receive asset declaration forms from public officers.”
Recall that yesterday, the presidency said that it has written the National Crime Commission of the United Kingdom UK to assist in the investigation of five senators with properties in the UK and the British Virgin Islands.
The Senators are Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and Imo state governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Hope Uzodinma.
Others are Senators Stella Odua, Peter Nwaoboshi and Albert Bassey Akpan.
The Special Presidential Investigative Panel on the Recovery of Public Property also said names of some of these politicians and other Nigerians have been submitted to the Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, to stop them from flying abroad.
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