PDP Protest: Police summon Saraki, Ben Bruce, Dino Melaiye; explain tear gas

Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and other PDP leaders led a protest to INEC headquarters, Abuja
Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and other PDP leaders led a protest to INEC headquarters, Abuja

The police said on Friday that they deployed a “minimum force” in resisting an alleged attempt to break into the Force Headquarters by Senate President Bukola Saraki and a host of other lawmakers and politicians who took part in a rally to demand immediate declaration of Ademola Adeleke as the winner of the controversial governorship election in Osun State last month.

Mr Saraki led other lawmakers, including Dino Melaye and Ben Murray-Bruce, in a procession through some parts of Abuja to condemn how the Independent National Electoral Commission carried out the September 22 gubernatorial election. Governor Aminu Tambuwal also participated in the exercise, alongside former governor Sule Lamido, Kabiru Turaki, Uche Secondus and amongst others.

INEC declared Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress winner of the election following a re-run exercise on September 27. The re-run was marred by irregularities, with local and international observers condemning it as having failed to meet the minimum acceptable standards in election conduct.

Mr Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party has declined to concede defeat in the poll, proceeding to the tribunal with the hope of overturning the result while insisting that INEC must declare him winner in the meantime.

A day to the PDP presidential primaries in which Mr Saraki is an aspirant and billed to be in Port Harcourt for the event on Saturday, the police said he was involved in an unruly conduct to disturb the peace of Abuja residents on Friday.

Police spokesperson Jimoh Moshood said in a statement Friday afternoon that Mr Saraki, Mr Melaye, Mr Murray-Bruce and others who participated in the protest should turn themselves in to the police latest by Monday, October 8.

Mr Murray-Bruce complained about the manner himself and others were treated by the police Friday afternoon, saying he was disappointed because he had been a prominent Nigerian for so many years.

Read the full statement below:

PRESS RELEASE

DISPERSAL OF UNRULY AND VIOLENT PROTESTERS WHO ATTACKED POLICE PERSONNEL ON DUTY IN FRONT OF THE FORCE HEADQUARTERS, ABUJA.

· Senator Bukola Saraki, Senator Dino Melaye and Senator Ben Bruce who were captured on camera to have been involved in the disturbance of public peace and public safety, unlawful blockade of Shehu Shagari way for several hours preventing motorists, road users and other members of the public from having access and passage on the highway thereby disturbing public peace and public safety and causing innocent people to scamper for safety and violent attack on Policemen posted to ensure security of the Force Headquarters, pushing and hitting the Policemen to forcefully enter the Force Headquarters to cause damage to Police equipment and Government properties are hereby invited to report themselves to the IGP Monitoring Unit at the Force Headquarters on Monday, 8th October, 2018 for investigation.

Today at about 1330Hrs, unruly and violent protesters who are members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in their hundreds with thugs and miscreants inside several trucks and vehicles blocked the Shehu Shagari way in front of the Nigeria Police Force, Headquarters creating a gridlock of traffic on the highway and preventing motorists, road users and other members of the public from having access and passage on Shehu Shagari way thereby disturbing public peace and public safety and causing innocent people to scamper for safety, suddenly the unruly/violent protesters surge and rushed violently on the Policemen posted to ensure safety of the Force Headquarters premises, pushing and hitting the Policemen to forcefully enter the Force Headquarters to cause damage to Police equipment and Government properties.

2. The Police team headed by a very Senior Police Officer despite the provocation, after issuing words of proclamation, warning this unruly PDP protesters who were chanting war songs of ”we no go gree o, we no go gree, we no go gree”, charged the Police personnel who used minimum force and dispersed them.

3. Senator Dino Melaye, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce and others yet to be identified were recorded on Camera pushing Policemen to forcefully enter the Force Headquarters to damage and destroy Police equipment and Government properties while Senator Bukola Saraki was at the scene of the attack in his car also captured on camera along with hundreds of miscreants and thugs in the acts of disturbance of public peace and public safety, unlawful blockade of Shehu Shagari way for several hours preventing motorists, road users and other members of the public from having access and passage on the highway thereby disturbing public peace and public safety and causing innocent people to scamper for safety.

4. The Inspector General of Police has directed immediate investigation into this unprovoked and unwarranted attack on the personnel of the Nigeria Police Force and the Force Headquarters premises which is against the law and condemnable. The Force will do everything within the law to bring all perpetrators of this crime to justice, no matter how highly placed.

5. Consequently, Senator Bukola Saraki, Senator Dino Melaye and Senator Ben Bruce who were captured on camera to have been involved in the disturbance of public peace and public safety, unlawful blockade of Shehu Shagari way for several hours preventing motorists, road users and other members of the public from having access and passage on the highway thereby disturbing public peace and public safety and causing innocent people to scamper for safety and violent attack on Policemen posted to ensure security of the Force Headquarters, pushing and hitting the Policemen to forcefully enter the Force Headquarters to cause damage to Police equipment and Government properties are hereby invited to report themselves to the IGP Monitoring Unit at the Force Headquarters on Monday, 8th October, 2018 for investigation.

6. Members of the public in the FCT are implored to remain calm as the situation is under control. Further development will be communicated to the public soon.

Ag. DCP JIMOH MOSHOOD

FORCE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER

FORCE HEADQUARTERS

ABUJA

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