Ekweremadu, PDP Senators condemn police raid on his house
Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, has condemned what he called a raid on his official guesthouse in Maitama area of Abuja by men of the Nigeria Police Force from the Inspector General of Police Special Squad.
He said the raid was motivated by people with selfish political motives who wanted to push him out of office to pave way for the realisation of their ambition.Similarly, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Senate Caucus yesterday also condemned in strong terms the raid.
A statement issued yesterday by Ekweremadu’s media adviser, Uche Anichukwu, said at the end of the search, nothing incriminating was found.Ekweremadu wondered why he was not put on notice before the search was carried out, pointing out that “in spite of the fact that they (the policemen) were informed that the property his the guest house, they nevertheless proceeded to thoroughly search it without establishing any contact with him or any of his senior staff.
The statement also said that the steward, Oliver Ogenyi, was taken away by the policemen to the Special Anti-Robbery (SARS) Office, Garki, Abuja, where the IGP Special Squad’s office is also located, but was later released after making a statement.
Ekweremadu said although he is a law-abiding citizen who does not dispute the fact that the security agencies are empowered by law to carry out searches on premises in accordance with the law, he is aware that the law requires that the owner of the property or his representative must be informed and should be present during the search.
The statement reads in part: “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?
“Instructively, this incident comes just a few weeks after Ekweremadu, on May 3, 2017, read to the Senate in plenary a written, but anonymous tip-off by a patriotic Nigerian on a plot to plant incriminating sums of foreign currencies, arms and ammunitions in a house linked to him under the pretext of the whistle blower policy. The aim, according to the source, was to rubbish, arrest, prosecute and ultimately remove Ekweremadu from office.”
“It is also apposite at this point to inform Nigerians that the Deputy President of the Senate had received at least three different forewarnings from various highly-placed sources before the written tip-off he read before the Senate, and they all pointed in the same direction: a clandestine effort to uproot the Senator from office by all means possible.”
According to the statement, “this latest act of desperation, intimidation, and disregard for due process further substantiates all the forewarnings.”On the motive for the raid, the statement further disclosed:
“we have it on good authority that agencies of government are currently scavenging through all the land registries and various banks within and outside the country to find incriminating reasons to arrest, embarrass, and prosecute him.
“The Deputy President of the Senate is also aware of a report revealing that some people within the government met with some top echelons of the security and anti-graft agencies at Maitama, Abuja, on May 17, 2017, to explore strategies to the arrest, prosecute, and remove him and some other Senators out of political circulation, by hook or crook to pave way for a total takeover of the National Assembly.”
It said that “these schemers have scheduled to meet again on June 13, 2017 as they hope to conclude their evil and anti-democratic machinations during the annual recess of the National Assembly when lawmakers will not be on ground to resist them.”
The statement drew attention to the fact that Nigerians that “Ekweremadu and the Senate President were, in June 2016, arraigned before a Federal Capital Territory High Court on trumped-up charges of forgery of Senate Standing Rules (2015) even when the petition by members of the Senate Unity Forum, statements by Senators and bureaucrats interrogated by the police, and indeed the police report itself did not mention, let alone accuse or indict any of them of any wrongdoing. The Senate’s presiding officers were docked when the proof of evidence did not establish any culpability on their part”
“The orchestrated political trial, calculated witch-hunt, barefaced intimidation, and clear attempt to emasculate the parliament and silence the leadership of the Senate, was eventually, but reluctantly withdrawn when external counsel briefed by the AGF, after studying the file, advised the Federal Government to do so” The statement said:
The Caucus, in a statement in Abuja by its spokesman, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, described the Police action as unwarranted, unacceptable and a deliberate attempt to muzzle the opposition.
Abaribe also faulted police explanations that they acted on whistle blower tip off, noting the “failed gestapo-like operation was nothing but a smokescreen to cover up a carefully orchestrated plot to intimidate Ekweremadu and by so doing cow the opposition from pointing out the failings of the government of the day.”
According to the caucus, “the raid was a willful affront on democracy.”“We had raised alarm on this plot not too long ago and now they have carried out the assignment only to reach a dead end, to the embarrassment of the Police and other anti-democratic forces bent on casting a wicked shadow on our fledgling democracy.
“We of the Senate PDP Caucus will never be intimidated or cowed in discharging our constitutional mandate of providing a responsible opposition. “Is it not an irony that the raid in the National Assembly guest house is coming on the eve of the Democracy Day anniversary?
“A raid on a property of another arm of government is a dangerous continuation of attack on the institutions that effects the needed checks on the excesses of the executive.
“It cast an ominous sign and this must stop,” Abaribe said.