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Senate disagrees with police’ burglary report on Ekweremadu’s assassination claim

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By Olugbenga Salami

Senate, on Wednesday, disagreed with the police that the Tuesday’s alleged assassination attempt on the lives of the deputy senate president, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, his wife and son was a mere burglary incident by some hoodlums.

It therefore urged Police authority to carry out thorough investigation the matter in order to get to the root of the evil act.

This is even as Ekweremadu threatened to release the circuit camera television, CCTV footage of the assassination attempt on his family if the police did not withdraw the report that it was a mere burglary.

He said after seeing the footage, Nigerians should be able to judge whether it was a case of burglary or an attempt to kill him.

Ekweremadu had told his colleagues at plenary on Tuesday how armed men allegedly invaded his Abuja residence around 4 a.m. earlier in the day.

He said the intruders made it to his bedroom where he was sleeping with his wife at the time.

The lawmaker had alleged that the police poorly responded to his distress calls during the incident.

But addressing newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday evening, the Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Jimoh Moshood, an acting Deputy Commissioner of Police, had said the incident was a burglary and not an assassination attempt.

Moshood said that a similar incident also took place at the residence of Haliru Adamu, a neighbour of the deputy president.

“Investigation so far carried out in the incident does not have any link to assignation attempt,” he said.

The Senate, however, took exception to the Police claim, saying the security agency was hasty in arriving at its conclusion without thorough investigation into the alleged assassination attempt.

The resolution followed a motion by Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, PDP-Abia South, under points of order 42 and 52 of the Senate standing rules, who faulted the preliminary report of the police on the incident.

In the motion, Senator Abaribe stated that the preliminary investigation claimed to have been undertaken by the police was not thorough.

He alleged that the police arrived at their conclusion that the incident was a burglary without getting the statements of Ekweremadu, his wife and son, said to be at home at the time.

In his contribution, Ekweremadu gave his colleagues an update on the incident.

He said the Deputy Inspector General of Police, DIG in-charge of Operations, Habila Joshak finally came to his house at 1.30 p.m. on Tuesday.

The DIG, according to him, came in company with the Commissioner of Police in the FCT, and said he was sent by the Inspector General of Police.

“I showed them round, and of course they were very sympathetic over what happened.

“So, I was shocked when I woke up this morning to read that police said what happened in my house was a mere case of burglary.

“I’m at a loss because as we speak, they have not taken statements from my son, who was hospitalised; they have not gone to the hospital to find out exactly what happened to my son.

“They have invited security personnel attached to me, few reported yesterday, some are still reporting this morning, including my ADC.

They have not taken their statements, and they came to the conclusion that what happened was a mere case of burglary.”

Ekweremadu said the police examined the Close Circuit Television, CCTV footage operated by a DSS staff in his house, but apparently could not figure out what happened.

That, he alleged, was why it was easy for them to quickly dismiss the incident as a case of burglary.

“Unfortunately for them, later yesterday (Tuesday) evening, the technician came and was able to produce the CCTV footage of everything that happened.

“This includes how the people gained entry into my house, how they got all the way up to my room, the fight that ensued between them, myself, my wife, my son, and all the efforts we made to save our lives.

“I am happy we have that in our custody which the police is not aware of, and I am sure Nigerians will be shocked by what transpired,” he said.

Ekweremadu said all he wanted was for the police to get to the root of the matter to be properly guided on how to protect the lives of other Nigerians.

Also dismissing the police report, Sen. Mao Ohuabunwa, PDP-Abia North said a mere burglar would not take the risk of invading a highly secured placed like the residence of the deputy president of the Senate.

Ohuabunwa urged the police to be more professional by conducting a thorough investigation into the incident.

On his part, Senator Dino Melaye, PDP-Kogi West said by dismissing the invasion as a mere burglary, the police were telling Nigerians that it was a normal thing.

He described the matter as very a very serious issue that should not be treated with levity.

Also contributing, Senator Shehu Sani, PRP-Kaduna Central said the police needed to be alive to its responsibility.

In his remarks, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, said there was need to address the issue of professionalism in the police in the Police Reform Bill currently before the Senate.

The lawmakers, therefore, also resolved that the bill should be fast-tracked.

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