Men of the Nigeria Police on Friday raided the official Guest House of the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, in Maitama, Abuja.
The policemen who were said to have stormed the building with a search warrant, interrogated a steward who was in the building and taken him to a destination yet to be ascertained as of the time of filing this report, where the steward was made to make a written statement.
But police said they were not involved in the raid. The police spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, denied reports that the police raided the guest house, saying the Force had nothing to do with the operation.
He said, “I have inquired from all our investigation units and they all said they did not know about the operation, they did not carry out the raid, so we are not involved in the raid on the guest house,” he said on Friday
But a security operative attached to Ekweremadu, who spoke on condition of anonymity, identified the operatives as members of the Inspector General of Police’ Special Squad.
“The officer who led the team presented a search warrant. The men were from the IGP’s Special Squad,” the source said.
Speaking to Saturday PUNCH on the telephone on Friday, the Special Adviser to the Deputy Senate President on Media, Mr. Uche Anichukwu, said neither Ekweremadu nor any of his aides was informed before the raid was carried out.
He said, “They did not inform us. Only the steward was there. They should have, at least, waited for the senior staff to be there but they just broke into the house and started searching.”
When reminded of a point of order raised by Ekweremadu recently on how the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission was planning to raid his Enugu home, Anichukwu stated that the raid on the official residence in Abuja was by the police.
When asked if the policemen took anything from the house, he replied, “They didn’t find anything. They took the steward, I think, to the Force Headquarters to sign a document that they didn’t find or take anything away.”
Anichukwu added, “The worry is that nobody supervised them; nobody searched them before they entered; and nobody supervised them when they were searching (the house). Anybody can drop anything in a place in the night and come back in the morning to come and search again.”
Ekweremadu had raised the alarm at the plenary on May 3, 2017, alleging that there was a plan by the EFCC to raid his home in Enugu State and plant incriminating items in it.
He further alleged that the proposed raid was to ensure his arrest, detention and indictment, with the aim of frustrating his political ambition.
The Deputy Senate President alleged that the mission to move against him was being sponsored by a cabal in the Presidency.
Meanwhile, a former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, has berated the Federal Government for the raid on Ekweremadu’s home.
Fani-Kayode said in a statement that the Buhari government was taking Nigeria back to the days of military rule.
The former minister said members of the opposition would not be intimidated by the government which had continued to exhibit fascist tendencies. The statement read in part, “Raiding the homes of our friends and leaders like Ekweremadu and harassing their children will not deter, stop or silence those of us that are in the opposition. It will only harden our hearts and strengthen our resolve.”
Later on Friday, the Office of the Deputy President of the Senate issued a statement on the police raid titled, “Police raid Ekweremadu’s Abuja house, finds nothing.”
The statement read, “Senator Ekweremadu is worried about the manner in which his guest house was raided. The questions are: Was there a search warrant? What were they looking for? Who searched the police officers before the search? Who supervised the search?”
The Peoples Democratic Party caucus in the Senate on Friday night condemned the police raid in a statement by its spokesperson, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, describing the action as “unwarranted, unacceptable and a deliberate attempt to muzzle the opposition.
“The raid said to have been ordered by the Inspector General of police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, on a property owned by the National Assembly was a willful affront on democracy.”
Source: The Punch