The National Assembly, yesterday, accused the Nigeria Police of stealing relevant documents needed to process and pass the 2017 Budget following the raid of the official residence of the chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Danjuma Goje.
It ordered the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Ibrahim Idris, to immediately return the documents and a computer which were taken away from the home.
Adopting a presentation made by Goje regarding the invasion of his residence last week, the Senate also asked the Police to tender a public apology to the National Assembly in addition to returning all the document.
This is even as the House of Represenatives set up a committee to probe the invasion.
President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki said the Police had informally told the Senate Committee on Police Affairs that the operation was carried out based on a wrong information from a whistle-blower.
Saraki, however, insisted that the Senate would not take that excuse as he declared that an immediate official explanation must be provided to the Senate on the operation.
“This matter is very serious just as Senator Goje has said. It is now over five days with no statement or comments from the Police to tell us why this raid was done or to tell us where these files which are very important to the appropriation process are.
“If somebody has given you any wrong information, tell the public what you are doing with that person and if it is an intelligence officer that got the house wrong, come out and tell us. For five days now, nothing. I think it is unfortunate.
“I also got an information that the House of Representatives has also set up an adhoc committee on this matter and this committee that is set up should work closely with the House, particularly to ascertain the circumstances surrounding why they went to Senator Goje’s house.
“If truly it was a whistle-blower and he gave them wrong information, which is what the IG is telling them, what are they doing about that wrong information? Have they come out to make a public apology for this wrong raid?
“These are issues that the committee would look into and the files that are still in Police custody which Goje has told us is affecting the works before us, also needs to be brought publicly and formally to him because it was taken publicly.”
The Adhoc committee has Jibril Barau (APC, Kano State) as chairman. Other members are Isa Misau (APC, Bauchi State), Chukwuka Utazi (PDP, Enugu), David Umoru (APC, Niger State).
Briefing the Senate earlier, Goje said the policemen took N18 million, $19,000 and 4,000 Saudi Riyadh from his house after the operation.
“In addition, they also took my laptop; and to make matters worse they took 18 files from my office. I am so traumatised… I don’t know which files is missing, which files is available now. Some of these files have to do with the work I am doing.
“Like I told you, we are holding a meeting on the budget that last Thursday that they came. So, from Thursday to now we have not been able to meet because some of the papers are not around, many of us are traumatised, my house as a politician is a beehive of activities; people are coming from all over the country to sympathise with me. I have no time to sit; and from today, we are trying to start sitting again as appropriation committee to see what we can do with the budget.”
Goje continued: “I want to apologise to my colleagues that we could not keep to the timetable you gave us to lay the budget yesterday (Tuesday) and to get it passed (Wednesday); and I think it is not our own fault, it is the fault of the police because the police interfered with the whole of the budget process and I hope Nigerians will not turn out to blackmail the National Assembly because the process was truncated by the police.”
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has given the IGP 24-hour to return all documents relating to the budget allegedly taken from Goje’s home.
Also, the House resolved to summon the IGP to explain the circumstances surrounding the invasion. The Ad-hoc Committee would submit its report within two weeks for further legislative action.
The decision was sequel to a motion sponsored by Abubakar Yunusa Ahmad (APC, Gombe) on the “need to check the excesses of security agents with regard to invasion of residences of law abiding citizens.”
Members of the House, who spoke on the motion roundly condemned the invasion of the
former governor of Gombe State, describing it as a breach of his fundamental human rights.
The lawmakers expressed anger over the way the police and other security agencies have been invading the homes of private citizens, without recourse to due process, under the guise of fighting corruption.
Leading debate on the motion, Ahmad said the invasion amounted to a gross violation of Goje’s fundamental human right, insisting that the manner security agencies were going about the fight against corruption was “not the way to go.”
Also, Toby Okechukwu (PDP, Enugu) accused the security agencies of attempting to cow the legislature.
“They have cowed the judiciary. Now they have proceeded to the legislature. We cannot allow that. We must call to question anything considered untoward.
“Goje house was invaded, we don’t know the reason. This kind of whistle-blowing should be driven by intelligence.”
Similarly, Sergius Ogun (PDP, Edo) said the House must put a stop to the undue harassment of innocent citizens by security agencies in the country.
However, Ahmed Musa Soba (APC, Kaduna) urged the House not to take a position yet on the issue. According to him, taking a stand on the police invasion of Goje’s residence, without an investigation would subject the House to public ridicule.
“This motion is not calling for investigation. It is judgemental. We should not be seen to be seated here to enforce anybody fundamental right,” Soba stated.
As at the time of filing this report, the IGP was said to be meeting privately with the Senate President. It was learnt that Ibrahim was in Saraki’s office to tender an unofficial apology over the invasion.


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