Senate urges thorough probe of assassination attempt on Ekweremadu

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PDP Decries Harassment of Ekweremadu by Security Agencies

The Senate on Wednesday passed a resolution urging security agencies to thoroughly investigate the alleged assassination attempt on its Deputy President, Ike Ekweremadu.

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.

The resolution followed a motion moved by Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP-Abia South), who faulted the preliminary report of the police on the incident.

Addressing newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday evening, the Force Public Relations Officer, Mr Jimoh Moshood, 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.

But senators took exception to the report during the debate of Abaribe’s motion, accusing the police of carrying out a hurried investigation without getting to the root of the matter.

In the motion, 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 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 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.

The Senate deputy president threatened to release the footage to the public 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 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 secure 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, Sen. 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 a very serious issue that should not be treated with levity.

Also contributing, Sen. Shehu Sani (PRP-Kaduna Central) said the police needed to be alive to their responsibilities.

Ruling on the motion, President of the Senate, 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.(NAN)

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