Ike Ekweremadu, deputy senate president, says he is prepared to answer the call of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on any allegation.
Uche Anichukwu, media aide of Ekeweremadu, quoted the deputy senate president as saying this when he received a delegation led by Emmanuel Chukwuma, archbishop of Enugu province, Anglican Communion, on Sunday evening.
Last week, a combined team of police officers and EFCC operatives laid siege to the residence of the deputy senate president.
Thereafter, the EFCC served him an invitation over alleged money laundering but the lawmaker has said his hands are clean.
Ekeweremadu explained that he has never managed resources or been in a position to give out contracts.
“I have been a town union president, chairman of a local government, chief of staff and secretary to the state government, senator since 2003, vice-chairmen and chairman of several committees, deputy president of the senate since 2007, and I have been deputy speaker of the ECOWAS parliament before I became the speaker. Today I am a member of the Global Parliament for Tolerance and Peace,” the statement read.
“In all of these, I have never managed government resources or finances or being in a position to give contracts or receive contracts. When I was local government chairman, I allowed the secretary of the council to run the affairs when it was time for giving contracts. When I was secretary to the Enugu state government, I refused to be part of the tenders board because of things like these.
“When I became the deputy president of the senate in 2007, there was something they used to call the body of principal officers that awarded contracts. I told the president of the senate that we had to stop it and let the national assembly management deal with contracts, and that if it was to continue, I was not going to part of it. He saw my point and agreed with me.
“All the oil and election probes they have done in Nigeria, nobody can mention my name. The money they pay me for my services has always been enough for me. If you have any proof that I stole government money, I challenge you to come out and say it. I have never ever even been in a position to do that.
“So, when Justice Innocent Umezulike and his cohorts wrote a petition to the EFCC that I was given money to go and develop the south-east zone and I used it to buy 32 properties, I laughed at them because nobody gives you money to go and develop your house let alone developing a zone. Nobody has ever given me money to do any contract.
“So, my hands are clean. But if the EFCC wants me to come and answer that, I am prepared to answer any call from anybody as a responsible citizen. Even at that, I will continue to advocate justice, rule of law, and equity.”
The deputy senate president wondered why there is a desperation to annihilate him politically.
“In all my statements, my position on things that have happened in Nigeria, I have always meant the best for Nigeria. I have never for once, personally attacked anybody, including the president,” it read.
“I have been worried about the security situation and the injustice that is accompanying the programmes of the government. Those are the issues I have always addressed and I have tried to be as objective as possible.
“So, why the government or its agencies or the party that is in power feels that I am a threat is what I don’t understand. For as long as you are in government, you are supposed to be democratic. I don’t have one personal problem with anybody, but because of my position on some of these things, people have tried to kill me. About 2015, there was an assassination attempt on my life and up till now, nobody has investigated that matter.”
He said there have been several attempts to remove him as the deputy president of the senate but he is not worried because “it is God that gives power and it is only him that can take it.”