Group cautions against ethnic sentiments in Ekweremadu’s ordeal

A group, the Anti-Corruption and Research Based Data Initiative (ARDI) has cautioned against implying tribal sentiments in the trial of Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu.

This was contained in a statement in Enugu by its Executive Secretary, Dennis Aghanya.

He said: “Our position is that he should answer the issues raised against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged 60 assets traced to him, rather than applying all sorts of tactics to slow down investigation.”

ARDI urged the deputy senate president to face the charges, adding that inferring ethnic meanings to his trial could hinder development, good conduct and even encourage corruption.

It deplored the position taken on the issue by the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo.

Ekwerwmadu is being accused of illegal amassing of property, using his office as deputy senate president.

The group held that: “Where justice is delayed or denied over public matter, it is the masses that suffer. Ekweremadu should also stop giving the trial the colouration of a persecution against Ndigbo. Politicians should stop using religion and ethnicity to divide the country, or paint security agencies black.”

Aghanya said the group supports the Executive Order 6, which President Muhammadu Buhari recently proclaimed to deal with tactical delay of alleged corruption cases.

He commended the Special Presidential Investigation Panel, led by Okoi Obono-Obla, for its role in tracing the properties.

The group, however, urged the security agencies to ensure that justice was done in the matter.

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