Ekweremadu: Senate dismisses police burglary claim, alleges cover-up

The Senate has condemned the Nigeria Police for dismissing as burglary, the alleged assassination attempt on the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu.

Members of the Senate at the plenary on Wednesday accuse the police of hurriedly making conclusions on the invasion of Ekweremadu’s residence in the Apo Legislative Quarters, Abuja by armed men on Tuesday without proper investigation.

 At the plenary on Wednesday, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP, Abia-South), moved a motion to berate the police for making the declaration before concluding their investigations into the attack.

 President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, put the prayers of the motion to voice vote and they were unanimously approved.

 The prayers were, among others, that “security agencies should thoroughly investigate the assassination attempt on the Deputy Senate President.”

 The lawmakers also resolved to expedite action on the passage of the Police Reforms Bill, which Saraki said would ensure professionalism in the outfit.

 Moving the motion, Abaribe said, “The police, after a preliminary investigation of a few hours, have come out with a report in which they said it was no more an assassination; that it was mere burglary. We all know that these days are ominous days for politicians in Nigeria. These days are very difficult for most of us, especially for those who are politically exposed persons as every one of us is here today.

“For the police to quickly, without even interviewing the Deputy Senate President, his wife and son, come out to say that they had determined that the attack was a burglary actually bothers  the mind. What it tells us is this: anything can happen to anyone of us and the police will immediately come out and say something else happened.

“But we know that in this country, (a former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation), Bola Ige, was killed in his home. It is also a fact that a former governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Lagos State, Funso Williams, was also killed in his home. And their investigations are still ongoing till today. For the police to quickly dismiss this home invasion that could have led to fatality as burglary; nobody knows how they could have come to such a conclusion.”

He added, “Our fear today is, why are the police engaging in cover-up? Why do the police continually, at any time that it concerns people that do not have presidential oversight or cover, quickly come out and have a report?”

Also, Ekweremadu, who expressed his disappointment at the Force, said the police had yet to interrogate the security operatives attached to him and arrest the fleeing suspects before concluding that it was a burglary case.

“In the afternoon (of Tuesday), the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (Operations) came to my house and said it was the IG who sent him to come and see me.  He came with the Commissioner of Police in charge of the FCT. I showed them round and, of course, they were very sympathetic over what happened.

 “I was shocked when I woke up this morning and learnt that what happened in my house was a mere case of burglary. I am at a loss because as we speak, they have not taken any statement from my son who has been hospitialised,” he said.

The Deputy Senate President threatened to release the video footage showing how he was attacked to the public if the police failed to withdraw the preliminary report of burglary.

He added, “They (DIG and CP) have invited security personnel attached to me. They looked at the CCTV tapes operated by the DSS staff attached to my house, apparently they were not able to figure it out. So, it was easy for them to quickly dismiss what really happened.

“Unfortunately for them, a technician came yesterday evening, and was able to figure out and was able to produce the CCTV footage, including how they (invaders) gained entrance into my house, how they got their way to my room, and the fight between them, my wife and my son, and all the efforts we made to save our lives.

 “I am happy that we have that in our custody, which the police are not aware of. I am sure that Nigerians will be shocked on what transpired and all the efforts made to save our lives. Now that the police appear to have made their conclusion on the case; and unless they withdraw the statement that it was a mere case of burglary, I may now be forced to release the footage to the media, international communities and my colleagues. Let Nigerians and ordinary people judge whether it was a case of burglary or an attempt to kill me, my son and my wife.”

The Deputy Senate President added that he might consider offers from individuals and groups who were ready to protect him if the police had failed.
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