Senators on Wednesday took turns to scold the police for declaring an attack on the deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, was a burglary.
The senators said the incident was a clear assassination attempt which the police failed to spend enough time to investigate.
Mr Ekweremadu on Tuesday reported to the Senate what he termed an assassination attempt on him, his wife and son.
The lawmaker said the assailants made their way into his bedroom at about 4a.m. causing him to struggle for his life. He added that one of them was eventually arrested.
In their reaction to the attack, the police on their verified Twitter handle said preliminary investigation showed the incident was a “burglary.”
“Preliminary investigation carried out so far did not reveal assassination attempt on the life of the Dep Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu and his family but a case of Burglary. However, investigation is still ongoing to determine if there is any other motive behind the offence,” the police tweeted.
Unsatisfied with this explanation, Enyinnaya Abaribe (Abia-PDP), raised the issue again in a point of order on Wednesday. He alleged the ‘hasty’ conclusion of the police was a cover up of the incident.
“The police said it was a mere burglary,” he said. We all know that these days are very ominous days for politicians in Nigeria, especially for those who are politically exposed as each and every one of us is. For the police to quickly without even interviewing the very person for whom this incident happened to- the deputy senate president, wife and his son – and come out and determine that it was a burglary, actually burgles the mind. We know in this country Bola Ige was killed in his home. We know and also It is a fact the former gubernatorial candidate, Funsho Williams was also killed in his home. And the investigations are still ongoing.
“Our fear today is why is the police engaging in a cover up? Why is the police continually at any time that it concerns people that do not have presidential oversight or cover, they quickly come out and have a report.”
Giving an update, Mr Ekweremadu said he was surprised at the hasty conclusion of the police even without speaking to his son who, he said, is currently hospitalised. He threatened to release the CCTV footage of the incident if the police fail to retract its report.
Next was Mao Ohabunwa (Rivers-PDP) who urged his colleagues to demand a proper investigation into the incident.
“What we are asking is that there should be proper investigation. It’s quite amazing at the speed and the haste at which the police PRO comes out to give conclusion on serious cases that needs serious investigation.
“Now somebody have been arrested, what investigation have you done? Those who escaped, you’ve not arrested them. So, how can we come to a conclusion? Nobody burgles into any place, without internal compromise and looking at the house of a person like the Deputy Senate President, for anybody to just go for mere burglary, you must be a suicide burglar.”
Dino Melaye (Kogi-PDP) alleged that the police were partisan in their approach to the issue. He knocked the police for their ‘myopic’ approach.
“The police adopted a very myopic, porous and intellectually stagnant approach to a very serious matter. To start with, burglary is not mere. Anyone who is engaged in burglary has satanic intention. It is burglary that leads to assassination.
“To come out and say it’s mere burglary shows that the Nigeria Police has identified some individuals that no matter what happen, we will not get their service.
“If this has happened to one of the faithfuls of Mr President, this will not be the reaction of the Inspector-General of Police. If this has happened to one of the close friends of the villa, this will not be the reaction of the IGP.”
Similarly, Shehu Sani (Kaduna-PRP), alleged the police were covering up something.
“We could have a killer burglar and that is what happened at the house of Ike Ekweremadu. For such to happen and for it to be dismissed as mere burglary, it shows that there is an attempt to cover up.”
The lawmakers after deliberations urged security agencies to ‘thoroughly investigate the assassination attempt.’
In an additional prayer, the senators resolved to hasten legislative process on the police reform bill.
‘I may release CCTV’
Mr Ekweremadu said he was surprised the police described the incident as burglary.
“In the afternoon the deputy inspector general of operations came to my house and said it was the IG who sent him to come and see me. He came with the Commissioner of police in charge of FCT. I showed them round and of course they were very sympathetic of what happened. I was shocked when I wake up this morning that what happened in my house is a merge case of burglary.
“I am at a loss because as we speak, they have not taken any statement from my son who was hospitialised, they have not gone to the hospital to find out what exactly happened to my son. They have invited security personnel attached to me who reported yesterday some are still reporting this morning. They looked at the CCTV tapes operated by the DSS and a staff of my house, apparently they were not able to figure it out. So it was easy for them to quickly dismiss what really happened.”
Mr Ekweremadu threatened he would release footage of the CCTV if the police continues to hold its stance.
“Unfortunately to them, later yesterday evening aa technician came and was able to figure out and was able to produce the CCTV footage, including how they gained entrance into my house and how they got a way into my room and the fight between them my wife and my son and all the efforts we made to save our lives. I am happy that we have that in our custody which the police is not aware of.
“I am sure that Nigeria will be shocked on what transpired and all the efforts made to save our lives. Now that the police appears to have concluded the case, unless they withdraw the statement that it is a mere case of burglary, I may now be forced to release those footage to the media, international communities so that Nigerians and ordinary people judge whether it was a case of burglary or attempt to kill me or whether they just want to come to my house to have a breakfast or have a handshake with me. I am happy I am alive to tell my story. It appears to me that the man who said it was a mere case of burglary does not know burglary is about.”