Anambra north Senator elect, Senator Alphonsus Igbeke, has picked holes in the Senate leadership's refusal to swear him in over alleged non-clearance.
Igbeke was first denied swearing-in on June 6, 2011 and later, last Thursday, in spite of a Federal High Court's order of September 26 ordering the Senate leadership to swear him in with immediate effect.
Faulting the Senate leadership's claim as reported in two national dailies on Sunday that he had not done his clearance to be sworn-in, Igbeke said yesterday that the leadership was being economical with the truth.
He said he had completed his clearance including that of State Security Service, SSS, Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, and collected vouchers for meal, hotel allocation paid by the Presidency, a privilege only accorded to elected senators that have completed clearance and registration before he was denied swearing-in on the floor of the Senate on June 6, based on a letter written by a staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
His words: "It is not true that I have not done my clearance. I have done that earlier and the leadership knows that. Even the clerk of the House knows that I have done all the necessary clearance."
and signed all the documents before now. So for anybody to say that I have not done so now is mischievous, cheap blackmail and misleading.
'I have all the documents collected during the clearance with me. Even when I met with the Clerk on Thursday for the swearing-in based on the recent (Port Harcout Federal High) Court order to the effect, he told me that I would hear from them. So how can the leadership turn around to say that I have not done my clearance?.
Nigerians should ask the Senate leadership if their refusal to swear me in on June 6 was because I have not done my clearance.
It is not and I challenge them to publish list of senators' clearance which I have with me. Having served in the House of Representatives as member for four years and in the Senate also before now, I know the rules and I have passed through all the processes by finishing all my clearance before now.
"The order was given on September 26 and the Senate leadership was served the next day it was published in one of the national dailies as required by the law.
But while the Senate spokesperson, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe was on Wednesday denying knowledge of the Court order, their lawyer and that of my opponent in the primary, Mr. John Emeka (jnr) were at the same time in the Court in Port Harcourt filing papers for stay of execution.
I have all the papers filed by their lawyers with me now. So who is deceiving who?"