Reps call for immediate release of colleague arrested by SARS

House of Reps
House of Reps

The members of the House of Representatives have called on the inspector general of the Nigerian police to grant the unconditional release of their colleague, Abubakar Lado (Niger, APC) who has been in Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) detention for the past three days.

The members, on Wednesday, gave the inspector general an ultimatum of 12 hours to release their detained colleague.

Mr Lado, who sought a second term ticket under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was allegedly arrested on the instruction of Niger State governor, Abubakar Sani-Bello.

PREMIUM TIMES also gathered that Mr Lado’s detention arose out of issues related to the APC primaries.

He was accused of causing crises that led to destruction of properties in Suleja, Niger State.

Raising a point of order under matters of urgent national importance, Toby Okechukwu (Enugu, PDP) condemned the actions of the police. He said their actions did not follow due process.

“The house is aware that the invitation of Honourable Lado was not done through due process and therefore breaches the legislative powers and privileges act which requires notification of (the) presiding officer before any member is invited or arrested” Mr Okechukwu said.

He added that efforts by the house leadership to get the lawmaker out of detention were unsuccessful as it was reliably gathered that only the governor could give such instructions.

“The house is embarrassed that the intervention of the House leadership was rebutted by the Nigerian police because it is only the governor of Niger State that can give instruction for his release.”

Efforts to reach the police spokesperson, Jimoh Moshood, to confirm the development was unsuccessful as he did not pick several calls put across to his line.

However, a source in the Police Special Tactical Squad (STS) confirmed the arrest to PREMIUM TIMES.

“Yes, he is in the custody of the STS” the source said.

Niger State is amongst several APC governed states that are enmeshed in crises arising from the just concluded primaries.

A source, who is a member of the House of Representatives, told PREMIUM TIMES that the governor has hijacked the primaries in the state.

He said members of the party, as at Wednesday, do not know their flag bearers.

“The governor has turned the tickets of our party to political appointments. We still do not know who the winners are of the primaries that were conducted a week ago.”

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