Vice President Sambo meets Police IG over National Assembly lockdown

Vice president, Namadi Sambo

Vice President Namadi Sambo has met the Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba, over the lockdown of the National Assembly by police officers in an attempt to deny the speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, access to the building.

Mr. Sambo met the police chief Friday as President Goodluck Jonathan is currently in London for the Honorary International Investment Council.

The presidency had earlier hailed the police for doing their jobs in deploying at the assembly.

President Goodluck Jonathan’s spokesperson, Doyin Okupe, said Thursday the police were merely enforcing their “constitutional duty” to keep the peace, and that they acted independently.

The police, in an earlier statement, said the operation was based on an “intelligence report” and was meant to forestall the invasion of the assembly by “hoodlums”.‎

Emerging from a closed door meeting with Vice President Namadi Sambo, Mr. Abba told journalists that investigations have begun to establish what transpired at the assembly.

When asked if he authorised the invasion of the National Assembly, the IG said, “Who did what and who didn’t ‎do what will be disclosed to you later. You know we work with investigations, investigations are going on and the press officer will address you”.

Pressed by reporters if he was not aware of this operation, Mr. Abba said, “I still repeat who did what, who didn’t do what you will hear later, is subject to investigations we just don’t talk anyhow”.‎

Speaking later to journalists of the Hausa service in the State House, on whether some of his officers were injured, the police chief said, “Everybody has seen that ‎somebody was even beating somebody, ‎somebody was pushing a policeman from the car.

“Somebody was removing road blocks mounted by police, we have never seen this kind of thing in the whole world. So we will talk to you later”.

On what action the police will take in response to the incident, Mr. Abba said, “Just wait our findings will reveal”.

Police raided the National Assembly early Thursday ahead of a crucial sitting at the House of Representatives.

The House had planned a session to discuss a request by Mr. Jonathan for an extension of the emergency rule in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States – all three hit by an insurgency by Boko Haram.

Officers mounted a blockade at the assembly, refusing to allow the speaker, Mr. Tambuwal, in, a move the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, said was aimed at unseating the speaker as punishment for defecting from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Police fired teargas after defiant lawmakers forced their way through three barricades and helped escort Mr. Tambuwal into the central building called the White House.

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