Special Assistant to the President on Prosecution and Chairman of the Special Presidential Panel for the Recovery of Public Property, Mr. Okoi Obono-Obla, has described Mr. Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Senate President, as a man haunted by lack of integrity.
Mr. Obla gave his assessment of the Deputy Senate President in a statement issued on his behalf by his lawyers, FBI Legal. Signed by Mr. F Baba Isa, the statement was a response to one issued by an aide to Mr. Ekweremadu.
The Deputy Senate President's statement, said Mr. Obono-Obla's lawyers, accused the presidential aide of spearheading a campaign to smear his image. The lawyers gave the Deputy Senate President 48 hours to retract the accusation or face a N5billion defamation suit.
"This accusation constitutes a gross smear on the hard-earned reputation of our client, Mr. Obono-Obla, and we have the further instruction to institute a N5 billion defamation suit in a court of competent jurisdiction if, 48 hours, after the issuance of this press statement, Mr. Ekweremadu does not retract his accusation and apologize unconditionally to Chief Okoi Obono-Obla," said the lawyers.
They explained that Mr. Obono-Obla is not aware of any smear campaign against Mr. Ekweremadu, let alone to be spearheading it. They added that the accusation against the presidential aide is a well-oiled mechanism of playing the victim.
They stated that Nigerians are no longer fooled by the trick and advised those who have cases to answer in the way they have managed the country's resources to go and defend themselves.
"They cannot turn round to play the victim. Nigerians are the real victims. It is on record that the Special Presidential Panel for the Recovery of Public Property headed by Mr. Obono-Obla is investigating how Mr. Ekweremadu and others illegally acquired houses meant for the Senate Leadership; houses which are intended to be national monuments," the lawyers said.
They added that the Deputy Senate President ought to approach the Police or the courts, but he is afraid because his claims will collapse under the faintest of scrutiny.