Senate: Police Says Media Reports On Forgery Investigation False

Ekweremadu

The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has said it has not concluded its investigations into the alleged forgery of the Senate’s Standing Order, adding that no copy of its report had been handed to President Muhammadu Buhari as reported in some sections of the media.

Speaking to THISDAY yesterday on the purported report, the Force Public Relations Officer Emmanuel Ojukwu described as false the news report that the investigation into the alleged forgery had been concluded and a report submitted to the president by the police.

A news story at the weekend claimed that the president had received a copy of the police report last week, confirming that the Standing Rules used to inaugurate the Eighth Assembly were forged.

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In the story, the police were said to have recommended the prosecution of those found culpable of forging the rules, which were used in the election of the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, and his deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu on June 9, 2015.
The report was said to have indicted the management of the National Assembly, especially the clerk, Salisu Maikasuwa, among others, and recommended the prosecution of the suspects.

However, Ojukwu told THISDAY that the investigation was still ongoing, adding that no report was submitted to the president.

“I want to state categorically that the investigation into the allegation of forgery at the Senate is still ongoing. We have not concluded it yet, so where did the media get the information that not only has it been concluded but handed over to President Mohammed Buhari.

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The investigation is still ongoing and whenever it is ready, we will make it available to the public. The media report that we have concluded the investigation into the case is false and should be disregarded,” he said.

Also commenting on the story, a Senator said he expected the police, being part of the executive arm of government, to recognise the separation of powers, which could invalidate their findings.

He added that if there were any alterations to the Senate rules, they must have been done by the civil servants in the National Assembly and not the senators who had not even been sworn-in to review the rules.

Acting on a petition by Senator Sulaiman Hunkuyi of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the police had on July 6 quizzed Maikasuwa over the alleged forgery of the standing rules of the upper legislative chamber.
The petition alleged that some parts of the 2015 rules were different from the one ratified by the Sixth Senate in 2010 and was used by the Seventh Senate in 2011.

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The police, on the strength of the petition, had subsequently quizzed the leadership of the Seventh Senate, including former Senate President David Mark; his deputy (now Saraki’s deputy), Ekweremadu; former Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba; and the former Chairman, Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Senator Ita Enang.

Maikasuwa, who is the custodian of the standing rules, was also invited for questioning by the police.
But as the crisis from last month’s leadership election in the National Assembly festers, Buhari will today meet the APC caucus in the House of Representatives.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, confirmed the meeting to State House correspondents yesterday.

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