*Passes Vote of Confidence on PDP-NWC
By Ignatius Okorocha
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus in the Senate has cautioned the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) to be wary of being used to stifle opposition in the country.
In a statement by Media Adviser to Senate Minority Leader Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, Uchenna Awom, the caucus at its meeting in Abuja on Wednesday night said it is happy with the level of accountability and transparency in the running of the affairs of the PDP and accordingly passed an implicit vote of confidence on the Prince Uche Secondus-led National Working Committee (NWC) of the party.
The lawmakers who met at the residence of the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe warned the EFCC against usurping the statutory functions of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) whose functions include the monitoring of finances of political parties.
“It is the exclusive legal preserve of the INEC to monitor the finances of the political parties and how they manage same. So the law is clear, that it is the function of the INEC to do so and not the EFCC.
“It is therefore preposterous for the anti-graft agency to invite the NWC of PDP over a phantom petition by an individual without recourse to what the law says in the circumstance.
“It is a misnomer and an aberration,” the caucus stated.
Continuing, the PDP Senators said that it sees the latest EFCC meddling in the affairs of the PDP as a clear usurpation of powers that it does not have and a deliberate ploy to stifle opposition in Nigeria.
The caucus added that Nigeria is a democracy and not a totalitarian state. Agencies of government it said should confine themselves to their statutory functions and not meddle into areas outside their assigned jurisdiction.
“It is not the role of EFCC to look into the finances of a political party as that is clearly the function of INEC.
“So if INEC has any issues with the party’s finances, they can raise query to that effect.
“Agencies of government must set the pace with respect to the rule of law. EFCC already has her hands full with other commitments and as such must not delve into areas that is way out of its statutory functions”, the caucus further said.
The PDP Senators therefore, asked the NWC not to be deterred by the illegal invitation by the EFCC and should rather continue performing its functions by giving vent to all organs of the party to play their role as the major opposition at this critical time in our dear country.