By Ayo Kehinde
In a statement of Friday, Chief Edwin Clark whose Abuja home was raided by the police on false allegation of arms possession has called on the police authorities to probe the incident stating that merely sacking the officers involved was nothing. He issued a statement on Friday.
He said: “I have considered it necessary, at this point, to personally issue this Statement following the events which have happened in the past few days beginning with the most disturbing and embarrassing entry and search of my Abuja house by some operatives of the Nigeria Police Force.
“Let me recapitulate that, on that day, that is, Tuesday, 4th September 2018, at 12:30pm, the Police Officers in question, from the IGP Special Tactical Squad, under the command of one Deputy Commissioner of Police, Kolo Yusuf, arrived my residence in two vehicles, one 18-seater Toyota Hiace Bus and a Toyota Hilux with registration number EU 979 ABC. Some of them were outside the gate armed, while three of them came inside and presented to me a Warrant for Search duly issued by a Court of competent jurisdiction.
“As a law-abiding Citizen, a father of this Country, and a Lawyer of more than 53 years in practice, I dutifully cooperated and permitted them to carry out their official duties. I, however, left them in no doubt of who I am, and questioned if they still wanted to proceed with their official assignment of searching my entire residence for so-called stock-pile of weapons and ammunition from the Niger Delta.”
“Merely sacking the officers concerned, when they were indeed carrying out official instructions, is not enough, if we are to avert such occurrences in future.
“The incident, must, therefore, be fully investigated and all those involved brought to book. In this respect, it is important to ascertain if a mere Report by a Taxi driver was enough to act on, how was the Warrant of search obtained from the Court same day?
“Why did the very senior Police Officer, whose attention was called, unable to stop the action while it was on-going?”
The Nigeria Police Force has gone ahead to arraign Ismail Yakubu, 45, in court on Wednesday for giving false information to the police to carry out a search on Chief Edwin Clark’s residence in Abuja.
Following a apology by the Inspector General of Police, Idris Ibrahim to Clark following the uproar that greeted a raid on his Abuja residence by four policemen without warrant, the police arraigned Yakubu for giving false information.
The force Spokesman, Acting DCP Jimoh Moshood, disclosed this while presenting the informant to newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said that the officer who led the team had been queried while the other three were currently undergoing orderly room trial.
The officers are: ASP David Domnic; Insp. Godwin Musa; Insp. Sada Abubakar and Insp. Yabo Paul.
Moshood added that any police officer carrying out the execution of search warrant must follow the laid down procedures within the law.
“Where such is not followed, such officer must be made to face the consequences of violating the rule of law,”he said.
He said that the police had the statutory right to execute a duly obtained search warrant in any premises where it had actionable intelligence.
Speaking with newsmen, Yakubu, who is from Waru Village in FCT, said he gave the information to the police based on patriotism as a Nigerian.
He said that he was in a taxi along Haile Salesie street , Asokoro, when he was told that a white colour Hilux van loaded with arms was entering the residence of Clark.
“I don’t think I have done anything wrong to have reported the matter to the police,”he said.
Meanwhile, President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has condemned the unwarranted search in the Abuja home of nonagenarian, Chief Clark, by the police, and called for an open, comprehensive investigation into the incident.
Saraki while reacting to the incident described it as “unwarranted harassment of the statesman” who is known for being very vocal in expressing his views on national issues and stated that the incident must not be allowed to be covered up without the public knowing all the details, particularly concerning who gave the order, who signed the police search warrant, which officers executed it and what objective was it meant to serve.
He said: this time when the nation is preparing for election is not reflecting well on the country. Such actions constitute a threat to democracy. They represent gross abuse of state institutions. Now that the Inspector General of Police has denied that the raid was never authorized, the next move should be a thorough, transparent investigation into the Senator Edwin Clark incident to prevent future occurrence.
“This kind of ugly development must stop. This country experienced peaceful change in 2015 because the government in power allowed democracy to work. If the government had allowed the flagrant abuse and misuse of state institutions to be the norm, we would not have had the change that occurred”, he stated.
Saraki reminded the government of its recent commitment to world leaders on the need to create a peaceful and conducive atmosphere necessary for a credible, free and fair election where citizens can freely exercise their franchise, devoid of intimidation, suppression and abuse of their fundamental human rights. He noted that incidents like the one in the home of Chief Clark is in conflict with the promise the government made to these world leaders.