June 15, 2009

Police declare new Niger Speaker wanted

By Wole Mosadomi

MINNA —  THE Niger    State Police Command has declared the new Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Sheidu Ndako Idris, wanted.

The State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mike Zuomokor, issued the order of arrest of the state chief lawmaker, weekend, following his (Speaker) refusal to honour an invitation and a summons served on him over his indictment by the White Paper report on the findings of a Commission of Inquiry set up by the state government to probe the immediate past administration in the state.

The new Speaker, one-time Chairman of Mokwa Local Government Council, was indicted by the white paper for misappropriation of the local government funds and for illegally withdrawing N97 million from his council treasury and the State /Local Government Joint Account when he was in charge of the council.

Idris, who was elected last Tuesday, following the impeachment of the former Speaker, Alhaji Mohammed Alkali, was equally asked by the white paper to refund N89 million belonging to the council.

The Speaker, however, has been out of public glare since last Tuesday. It was alleged that the lawmaker had gone under ground to avoid being arrested by Police over his indictment. This, Vanguard gathered, was responsible for the non-presence of the Speaker at the crucial meeting the leadership of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the state had with all its members in the House of Assembly last Wednesday.

Confirming the order of arrest of the Speaker, Niger State Command Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Richard Oguche, said  a warrant of arrest had been issued against the speaker, adding that intelligence officers have also been detailed to ensure his arrest.

According to the Police spokesperson, “the police had no choice than to take the action after the affected persons failed to voluntarily report themselves to the police after summons were served on them.

We have not seen them up till now but I can assure that we will get them to ensure they face prosecution.”