Ekweremadu denies being placed on travel ban
Nigerian Senate deputy president Ike Ekweremadu said he was not barred from travelling out of the country by the Special Presidential Investigative Panel (SPIP) on Recovery of Public Property as speculated across social media platforms.
“For clarity 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,” Ekweremadu’s media aide Uche Anichukwu said in a statement.
Anichukwu explained that his principal was only sued by the by the SPIP on the grounds that he allegedly “neglected to declare” his assets “in the manner prescribed by the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property”.
Anichukwu, who affirmed that negligence in the declaration of the asset by a public official was contrary to the constitution, said Ekweremadu “had since fulfilled” the provision.
He said only the Code of Conduct Bureau has the constitutional powers to hold public officials accountable on grounds of false declaration of assets, not the SPIP.
“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 power to investigate non-asset declaration is now vested in the Code of Conduct Bureau by the 1999 Constitution (as amended),” Anichukwu said.
“Therefore, only the Code of Conduct Bureau can receive asset declaration forms from public officers,” Anichukwu said.
He stated that “The Court of Appeal recently gave a judicial imprimatur to this when it ruled in a similar matter that the SPIP has no prosecutorial powers whatsoever, hence the panel is acting ultra vires.
“The Federal High Court, Abuja, at the November 8 hearing on the matter, declined the panel’s request to order the senator’s arrest since he is challenging the panel’s legality.
“So, whereas the excesses and smear tactics of the SPIP is not in doubt, the report is considered false and misleading, especially since our interaction with those concerned indicated that the only medium that listed Ekweremadu and was subsequently copied by some online platforms, confirmed that the reporter was neither given nor saw any list that contains Ekweremadu’s name,” Anichukwu said.
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