By David Odama
Operatives of the Police Force and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the early hours of Tuesday, besieged and took over the residences of the President of the Senate and his deputy, Senators Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu respectively, thereby preventing the principal officers from leaving the residences.
While men of the Nigerian Police took position around the Lake Chad, Maitama, Abuja residence of Saraki, the EFCC operatives, in company with some policemen, sealed all the entrances and exits to the official residence of Senator Ekweremadu, in Apo Legislative Quarters, Abuja.
The security operatives positioned themselves from the main gate up to the official residence of Senator Ekweremadu and gave no reason for their action.
The siege is coming on the day Senator Bukola Saraki is expected to report at the Guzape Police Station in Abuja on the invitation of the police authority in connection with the Offa bank robbery.
The moves, analysts said, could be designed to prevent the principal officers from Tuesday’s sitting of the Senate and maybe prevent the planned defection of many senators who are expected to switch parties at the Senate hearing.
Saraki was invited Monday night to answer to allegations against him in connection to the Offa robbery which claimed the lives of scores.
Reacting to the development on Monday, Saraki described the invitation as a mere afterthought which is designed to achieve political purpose.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki stated that he had it on good authority that the Police had already decided on the suspects to arraign in court in Ilorin, Kwara State on Wednesday based on the advice of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Mohammed U.E. and that the turn around to invite him was a ploy aimed at scoring cheap political points.
The statement read, “I have been reliably informed that the police invitation was planned by IG as a ploy to stop an alleged plan by some Senators and House of Representatives members from defecting from the All Progressives Congress (APC). It was also said that if I was detained between Tuesday and Wednesday, that will abort the so-called defection plan.
“While I continue to maintain that the issue of my position on the 2019 elections is not a personal decision for me alone to make, it should be noted that all these concoctions and evil plot cannot deter me. Those behind this fresh assault will fail as I have nothing to do with the robbery incident or any criminal matter for that matter.
“I am aware that following a request made by the Police on June 13, 2018 to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) of the Federation had written a legal advice dated June 22, 2018, in which he stated on page 5, paragraph (f) that “For the Senate President and the Kwara State Governor, this office is unable to establish from the evidence in the interim report a nexus between the alleged office and the suspects”.
“The Police have obviously corrupted and politicized their investigations into the Offa robbery incident. They have turned it into an instrument for the party in power to suppress perceived opponents, witch-hunt issue for blackmailing people from freely choosing which platform on which they want to pursue their ambition and a matter for harassing the people whose exit from APC would harm the chances of the party in the forthcoming elections.
” I want to make it apparent that I have no hand in either the robbery incident or any criminal activity. The Police in their haste to embarrass me sent the invitation to me at 8pm and requested that I report to the station by 8am tomorrow morning. This obviously demonstrated their desperation as I do not see why they are now in a hurry.”
At the time of this report, operatives of the DSS and the EFCC were still laying siege on the residences of the principal officers.