The Office of the National Security Adviser has described as “unfair and a total falsehood” reports that the National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, has ordered the arrest of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal.
In a statement Saturday that did not refer to Mr. Tambuwal as Speaker, Mr. Dasuki’s office denied that a directive was given for Mr. Tambuwal’s arrest at a meeting with Vice President Namadi Sambo and the Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba.
The Director, Special Duties in the Office of the National Security Adviser, Bello Fadile, a retired colonel, who signed the statement, described the alleged plan to apprehend the Speaker as “untrue and total falsehood”.
In a statement Friday night, Mr. Tambuwal had reacted to reports that the Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba, had given instruction for his arrest in connection with Thursday’s commotion at the National Assembly.
“The Honourable Speaker wishes to state that he is a law abiding citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who has no immunity against arrest and prosecution except privileges as may be provided by the Legislative Powers and Privileges Act,” Mr. Tambuwal said through a statement by his spokesperson.
“Accordingly , the Hon Speaker states for the records that he is available, ready and willing to answer any lawful invitation from any of the Security agencies on any matter for which they may require his attention.”
The confusion at the lawmaking complex, which saw the police firing teargas at lawmakers and lawmakers scaling fences, was triggered by the police themselves after they blocked members heading to the chamber for plenary.
The lower chamber had suspended its break to enable it consider President Goodluck Jonathan’s request for extension of the emergency rule in the three North-eastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe – worst hit by the deadly Boko Haram insurgency.
But in his statement, Mr. Fadile said there was no plan by anyone to arrest the Speaker.
“It is not only untrue and mere fabricated reports that the NSA met with the VP and ordered the arrest of Hon Tambuwal,” the statement said. “The fact is that the National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, has been outside the country since Wednesday on pressing national security issues.
“To the best of our knowledge there is no any order for the arrest of Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of the House of Representatives.
“We therefore urge the media to always cross-check their stories before going to the press.”
The Inspector General of Police had also on Saturday denied giving an order for the arrest of Mr. Tambuwal.
When contacted by PREMIUM TIMES, the spokesperson for the Police, Emmanuel Ojukwu, said, “That is not true, the IGP did not order anybody to arrest him(Tambuwal).
“There is no such order, the IGP did not order the arrest of anybody. It depends on the people who are investigating the case to determine who has questions to answer and who may be prosecuted.
“My advise is that, you cannot attack the police and go unpunished. The law must catch up with you. Even with people in authority, the police must be respected,” Mr. Ojukwu said.