UPDATED: IGP Idris submits report on SSS National Assembly siege to Osinbajo

Rivers Rep, Boma Goodhead, dares DSS
Rivers Rep, Boma Goodhead, dares DSS

The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has accused Lawal Daura of gross violation of Nigerian Constitution in Tuesday’s barricade of the National Assembly by State Security Service operatives.

In a preliminary report on the controversial incident prepared for Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday, Mr Idris said Mr Daura was working for some politicians for selfish interest, but did not name the accomplices.

He said Mr Daura did not consult with other security agencies before ordering the siege, and questioned the validity of a security report that allegedly anticipated a violence at the parliament.

Mr Daura was sacked by Mr Osinbajo on Tuesday afternoon. He was immediately handed over to the police for further interrogation, after unathorised deployment of SSS officers that sparked nationwide outrage and condemnation.

Mr Idris said the police have been interrogating Mr Daura in Garki, Abuja, since he was arrested.

The report, seen by PREMIUM TIMES, was signed by Mr Idris on August 8, but it was not immediately clear whether Mr Osinbajo has received it.

‘For your information’

For the most part, the report did not seem to have uncovered much details that were not already known to the Nigerian public within the first few hours of the siege. It was prepared by Garba Umar, the police commissioner in Anambra State.

Mr Idris told Mr Osinbajo the submission was only for the Acting-President’s immediate information as findings into the matter would continue, although he concluded that Mr Daura is a prime suspect and sought permission to search his properties and those of other unnamed suspects already identified.

It was unclear whether Mr Osinbajo has authorised the raids. Neither the presidency nor the police had publicly commented on the report since it was first reported Friday night, despite requests for clarifications from PREMIUM TIMES.

PREMIUM TIMES has also reported that Mr Daura was no longer in custody of the police as at Wednesday night. He was released with his mobile telephones, but his international passport was confiscated.

Mr Idris said Mr Daura sdid not inform other security agencies before authorising the blockade. He said it is clear that he did so for selfish political reasons and to whip up sentiment towards the National Assembly.

“It is crystal clear that the principal suspect Lawal Daura may be acting the script of some highly placed politicians to achieve selfish political goals, hence his unilateral and unlawful decision to invade the National Assembly complex,” Mr Idris said.

Mr Daura reportedly justified the blockade of the National Assembly to forestall violence following claims that All Progressives Congress lawmakers might clash with their counterparts in the Peoples Democratic Party if any attempt was made to actualise alleged plot to remove Mr Saraki as Senate President on Tuesday.

The senators loyal to Mr Saraki said Mr Daura sent his men to allow only APC lawmakers access into the premises to purportedly remove Mr Saraki; while denying PDP lawmakers access.

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An emergency meeting of parliament’s leaders had been called by Mr Saraki on Monday night, but lawmakers who trooped to the complex, mostly non-executive members, arrived as early as 6:30 a.m. They all accused the SSS of plotting an overthrow of Nigeria’s democracy, and reprimanded Mr Osinbajo for alleged complicity or complacency.

The ruling APC defended Mr Daura’s action, saying its findings strongly indicated that the disgraced spy chief was trying to prevent violence which PDP lawmakers allegedly planned at the National Assembly.

But Mr Idris rejected this claim, saying Mr Daura sent SSS personnel who “acted like mercenaries, hired to carry out executions.”

His suggestion of political collusion buttresses earlier claims by presidency sources who informed PREMIUM TIMES and Sahara Reporters in separate exchanges on the day that Mr Daura’s potentially compromising relationship with Senate President Bukola Saraki was one of the major bases for Mr Osinbajo’s decision to fire him and hand him over to federal authorities.

Mr Saraki pushed back against the allegations at a press briefing Wednesday afternoon, describing it as an ‘insult’ on the collective intelligence of Nigerians. He said it was baffling that he leaders of the parliament could be accused of being in bed with someone like Mr Daura, even when the parliament was also at the receiving end of the former spy chief’s unchecked recklessness.

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