A faction of the Peoples Democratic Party under the leadership of Senator Ahmed Makarfi has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to suspend two of his ministers, whose names were mentioned by some judges currently undergoing investigations for alleged corruption.
The ministers are Rotimi Amaechi (Transportation) and Dr. Ogbonaya Onu (Science and Technology).
Spokesperson for the PDP faction, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, stated this in a statement in Abuja on Friday.
Adeyeye argued that if the National Judicial Council could suspend the seven judges whose names were mentioned in the scandal, then the President should also extend the same gesture to his ministers who the judges alleged attempted to influence them to give judgments in matters that were of interest to them (the ministers).
It will be recalled that Justices Sylvester Ngwuta and Inyang Okoro of the Supreme Court, alleged that Amaechi asked them to subvert justice in some electoral petitions before them while Ngwuta mentioned only Onu, who he alleged asked him to nullify the governorship election in Ebonyi State.
The two judges were suspended alongside five others by the NJC on Thursday due to investigations by the Department of State Serives.
Adeyeye, a former Minister of State for Works, argued that since what is sauce for the goose is also sauce for the gander, the affected ministers should be asked to step aside.
His statement said, “It is important to note that Justices Ngwuta and Okoro have alleged that they are the targets of a witch-hunt because they refused offers of inducement and bribes made to them by the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi and the Minister of Science and Technology, Chief Ogbonnaya Onu, to subvert the course of justice in appeals against the decisions of lower courts in election petitions in Abia, Akwa Ibom, Ekiti and Rivers states.
“In order to allow for a fair and independent investigation, it is incumbent on President Muhammadu Buhari to ask these ministers to step aside pending the conclusion of investigations into these issues.
He called on the President to emulate the NJC, which ordered the suspension of the seven justices pending the conclusion of investigations against them.
But the All Progressives Congress had called on the President to ignore the call for the sacking of the ministers. Chairman, Rivers State chapter of the APC, Mr. Davies Ibiamu-Ikanya, defended the two ministers in a statement made available to our correspondent in Abuja.
He said, “We urge Mr. President and Nigerians to completely disregard PDP call for the sacking of Amaechi and Onu.
“Why should they be sacked? What crime did they commit for PDP to call for their sack? These fine gentlemen did nothing wrong.
“Mr. President should not and cannot act based on mere accusations from the two Supreme Court Justices without an iota of proof or evidence to back their claims.”