The Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu has confirmed that men of the Nigeria Police Force from the Inspector- General of Police Special Squad, raided his official guest house on Friday at about 8:00 a.m.
Ekweremadu made this known in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr Uche Anichuwu on Friday.
He said the Police, however, did not find anything incriminating during the raid at the premises located at No. 10 Ganges Street, Maitama, Abuja.
”They met the steward, Oliver Ogenyi, and some of Ekweremadu’s staff and their children in the house.
”In spite of the fact that they were informed that the property is the guest house of the Deputy President of the Senate, they nevertheless proceeded to thoroughly search the house without establishing any contact with the Deputy President of the Senate or any of his senior staff.
”The steward was taken away by the Police to the Special Anti-Robbery (SARS) Office, Garki, Abuja, where the IGP Special Squad’s office is also located.
”Ogenyi was later released after making a statement.
“The Deputy President of the Senate is a law-abiding citizen and does not dispute the fact that the security agencies are empowered by law to carry out searches on premises in accordance with the law.
”However, the law requires that the owner of the property or his representative must be informed and should be present during the search, ” the spokesman noted.
Ekweremadu, according to the statement, 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 statement recalled efforts in the past to incriminate the deputy president of the senate.
Meanwhile, the Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Jimoh Moshood, told the News Agency Agency of Nigeria ( NAN) that the raid was not carried out by the Nigeria Police Force.
The PDP 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.