Idris to Senate President: We’ll get to the root of Kwara killings
Senators: Police withdrawing our orderlies
Kwara govt kicks against transfer of suspects to Abuja
The President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, yesterday, alerted the Senate of alleged plot by the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to frame and subject him to criminal prosecution and perhaps destroy him politically. New Telegraph learnt that suspected cultists arrested for murder in Kwara State have been moved to Abuja who would allegedly link Saraki to murder.
This was as the Senate constituted a 10-man delegation to meet President Muhammadu Buhari over this alleged attempt to implicate Saraki in a criminal matter as well as other maltreatment given to senators, including withdrawal of their police orderlies by the IGP.
The President of the Senate, who drew the attention of the Senate to the matter during plenary session, said that the scheme to incriminate him by the IGP was revealed to him by the Kwara State Governor, Dr. Abdulfatah Ahmed. He said that Governor Ahmed told him that a group of suspects who had been in Police cells for several weeks for cultism and whose investigation had been concluded with prosecution about to commence under the state law based on the advice of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) and the Ministry of Justice were ordered to be transferred to Abuja yesterday morning.
Saraki further said that the information available to the governor revealed that the IGP directed the Kwara State Commissioner of Police to immediately transfer the suspects to Force Headquarters, Abuja.
He noted that the governor was made to understand that the plan was to make the suspects under duress, to alter the statements they already made in Ilorin, stating that their new statements would be made to implicate the Kwara State Government and himself.
The President of the Senate alleged that the motive of the IGP in the matter was to settle scores over the declaration by the Senate that he was not qualified and competent to hold any public office, within and outside the country, and that he was an enemy of Nigerian democracy based on his usual disrespectful conduct towards lawful authorities.
Saraki said: “According to the information available to the governor, the Inspector- General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, directed the Commissioner of Police in Kwara State to immediately transfer the men to the Force Headquarters.
“The plan, as the governor was made to understand, is that under duress, the suspects would be made to alter the statements they already made in Ilorin. They will then be made to implicate the Kwara State Government, and in particular, myself, in their new statement.
“This plot is part of the strategy by the IGP Idris to settle scores over the declaration by this honourable chamber that he is not qualified and competent to hold any public office, within and outside the country and that he is an enemy of Nigerian democracy based on his usual disrespectful conduct towards lawful authorities.
“In my own view, this plot is an act of desperation, blackmail, intimidation, abuse of office and crude tactics aimed at turning our country into a Police State where top officials cannot be made to obey the law, follow due process and subject themselves to constituted authorities.
“I want to bring this dangerous development to the attention of all of you my colleagues, the entire country and the international community so that you can be aware of the level of impunity in our country and the danger it constitutes to our democracy.”
After making his submission, Saraki, without allowing senators to make contributions on the matter, called on the Leader of the Senate, Lawan, to go ahead and call up other items on the Order Paper for the considerations of the Chamber
However, the Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, observed that the issue raised by the President of the Senate was weighty enough not to be swept under the carpet, stressing that it was imperative that senators should make contributions on the matter on how to tackle the problems.
Some senators also raised observations that the IGP had withdrawn police orderlies of some members of the apex legislative chamber because of the current disagreement between the chamber and the IGP. At this point, Saraki gave opportunity for members to make comments on the issue he briefed about.
The Deputy Leader of the Senate, Bala Na’ Allah, while contributing, said that the matter should be treated with the seriousness it deserved, pointing out that since the matter was coming from the Chief Security Officer of Kwara State, it should be taken seriously.
Senator Sam Anyanwu (PDP-Imo) lamented that lawmakers had been subjected to serious intimidation under the present administration, and by so doing, hindering them from carrying out their responsibilities effectively.
He said: “We should not trivialise this matter.
If it is happening to Saraki, then we are all in trouble.
Many of us have been earmarked. It is a calculated attempt to ridicule the person and integrity of the Senate President and the National Assembly as an institution.”
Anyanwu hinted that police orderlies of some senators, particularly those seen to be vocal, had been withdrawn through the orders of the IGP, stressing that he was not afraid of any level of persecution and would not be deterred from speaking his mind on issues affecting the Nigerian people.
Senator Kabiru Marafa (APC-Zamfara) told the Senate that his police orderly was withdrawn from him when he visited his constituency in Zamfara and when he got a replacement, the orderly was arrested and detained till the time he was speaking on the floor of the Senate.
The Deputy Minority Leader, Emmanuel Bwacha (PDP-Taraba), lamented the increased spate of intimidation of lawmakers, recalling how his police orderlies were suddenly withdrawn when he travelled to Jos on the orders of the IGP. On his ordeal when he applied for security backup on his way to a volatile part of Jos in Plateau State, Bwacha said: “Each and every one of us stand the danger of this development.
“I applied for security backup to an area that is known for kidnapping. As we were proceeding on our way, there was an instruction for the police officers to withdraw to a nearby police station.
My security detail was withdrawn in an area that is notorious for kidnapping and I was left alone. I had to drive alone in fear. We are no longer safe.”
Deputy President of the Senate, Dr. Ike Ekweremadu, who announced the 10-man committee to visit President Buhari for a dialogue on the way forward, said that the parliament is the temple of democracy.
The members of the delegation are the Leader of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan; the Chief Whip, Prof. Olusola Adeyeye; Minority Whip, Godswill Akpabio, Oluremi Tinubu (APC-Lagos) and Raji Rasaki (APCEkiti). Others are Aliyu Wammakko (APC-Sokoto), Sam Egwu (PDP-Ebonyi), Danjuma Goje (APC-Gombe) and Abdullahi Adamu (APC-Nasarawa). Saraki is to lead the delegation.
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