*Steward arrested, released
*Fani-Kayode says FG wants to silence opposition

BY HENRY UMORU & CHARLES KUMOLU

DEPUTY Senate  President, Sen Ike Ekweremadu has lamented that his house was raided yesterday by the Nigeria Police Force from the Inspector General of Police Special Squad, noting that nothing incriminating was found at the end of the exercise.

He, however, described the development which he said happened without a search warrant as a calculated plot to undermine him. Ekweremadu in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Uche Anichukwu said the incident happened at 8 am at No. 10 Ganges Street, Maitama, Abuja.

The statement reads: “At about 8 am on Friday, May 26, 2017, men of the Nigeria Police Force from the Inspector General of Police Special Squad raided the official guest house of the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, located at No. 10 Ganges Street, Maitama, Abuja. The police, however, stated at the end of the search that nothing incriminating was found.

“They met the steward, Oliver Ogenyi, and some of Ekweramdu’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.

Ike Ekweremadu

“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.

“Senator Ekweremadu 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?

“Instructively, this incident comes just a few weeks after Senator Ekweremadu, on May 3, 2017, read to the Senate in plenary a written, but anonymous tip-off by a patriotic Nigerian on a plot to plant incriminating sums of foreign currencies, arms, and ammunitions in a house linked to him under the pretext of the whistleblower policy. The aim, according to the source, was to rubbish, arrest, prosecute, and ultimately remove Senator Ekweremadu from office.”

It is an attempt to silence opposition—Fani-Kayode

Reacting to the development, a former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode said the incident was shocking and shameful, noting that it was an attempt to silence the opposition.

He also called on Nigerians to legally resist future occurrence, adding that it was high time Acting President Yemi Osinbajo stopped what he termed the harassment of innocent Nigerians.

The ex-minister in a statement said the act would only strengthen the opposition.

The statement reads: “ This is shameful and shocking. Raiding the homes of our friends and leaders like Ekweremadu and harassing their children will not deter, stop or silence those of us in the opposition. It will only harden our hearts and strengthen our resolve.

“It is about time Nigerians woke up and stood up to their madness and tyranny. We must employ all lawful means to resist them and expose them for what they are.

Nowhere in the world do citizens sit by idly and say nothing when their rights are being violated in this way. The Federal Government is trying to foster and engender an atmosphere of fear and terror and this will not work because we refuse to be intimidated. You demonise opposition members and those that criticise your government whilst you treat your own party members and government officials as if they were angels and saints even when and where they indulge in monumental acts of depravity and corruption.

“Instead of protecting the lives Nigerians from the barbaric Fulani militias and herdsmen and other genocidal maniacs you are using the security forces to wage war against the opposition and the Nigerian people. We did not expect it from Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.

He is an erudite lawyer and a gentleman of good stock and noble blood and he really should know better. My belief is that the Acting President may not have known about this barbaric raid and if that is the case I implore him to stop them from terrorising innocent Nigerians. An attack on or the violation of the constitutional rights of Ekweremadu or any other opposition figure or dissenting voice in this nation is an attack on all of us.’’

 

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