Ekweremadu slams police for poor response to distress calls

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The deputy senate president, Senator Ike Ekweremadu had on Tuesday narrated how he and his family survived assassination attempt and come down hard on the police for their poor response to distress calls.

Speaking on the floor of the senate, the lawmaker said some men invaded his house around 4am that day and “got all the way to my bedroom” and “we eventually caught one of them and the rest escaped.”

He said he put a call to the police high command but got no responses stressing that “nobody is safe in this country” and appealed his colleagues and the general public that “we all continue to be prayerful, be conscious of our private security.”

“It is with gratitude to Almighty God that I will like to tell my colleagues, my constituents and the general public that myself, my wife and my son narrowly escaped assassination in the early hours of this morning,” Ekweremadu began.

“It was about 4am this morning (Tuesday, November 6), that some people evaded the security in my house and got all the way to my room where I was sleeping with my wife – there was a struggle, there was a fight with heavy commotion and by the grace of God we eventually caught one of them and rest escaped.

“We handed that one over to the police investigating the matter. The annoying aspect of it or the one that is worrisome is that at that point I called the Inspector-general of police (IGP), his phone was off, I called some of his aides, their phones rang out and nobody replied till now, I called DIG operations, till I left my house nobody showed up.

“I now had my people invite the DPO in charge of Apo police station. We didn’t see him till about 5:30, he sent his 2nd-in-command who came and he saw the dangerous weapons that they left behind, he left and sent that the DPO was coming until I left my house by 9am, the DPO had not come.

“Nobody is safe in this country, I want to appeal to my colleagues and the general public that we all continue to be prayerful, be conscious of our private security, it appears that the security is not in the hands of government but the Almighty God,” he said.

In his reaction, the police spokesman, Mr. Jimoh Moshood, said four police officers of the Nigeria Police Force and a staff of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) who were on duty at the senator’s residence at the time of the incident had been arrested and detained pending investigation.

However, he dismissed the assassination attempt theory of the invasion.

Moshood said it was actually a robbery incident adding that the lawmaker’s neighbour had previously been robbed by the same gang on that day.

He revealed that the neighbour, identified as Haliru Adamu, lost his cell phones and jewelry to the gang.

“Investigation so far carried out in the incident does not have any link to assassination attempt,” he said.

Moshood also revealed that the apprehended member of the gang, identified as Mohammed Yusuf, was assisting police in the arrest of the other members of the gang who escaped after the failed attack.

“The suspect has been assisting the police in the investigation into the matter. We have intensified efforts to arrest other suspects who escaped from the crime scene,” he said.

In his reaction, the senate president, Dr. Bukola Saraki described the security situation in the Federal Capital Territory as “quite unfortunate” saying  “it is even more disturbing how poor the response by the Nigerian Police was.’

He therefore mandated the senate committee on police affairs to investigate the alleged assassination attempt.

“We thank the almighty God for granting you and your family safety from this horrific experience. It is now under investigation. The security situation in the FCT is quite unfortunate. It is even more disturbing how poor the response by the Nigerian Police was. We hope that the police are not being partisan in the way that they treat such cases.

“I hope the chairman of the senate committee on police affairs will find out exactly what happened so that they can ensure that this kind of thing does not happen again. We will continue to do our best to see how we can address the security situation in this country and see what we can do to give the security agencies all our support,” said.

In his reaction, the speaker of the house of representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara called on the police to ensure there are no political assassinations as the 2019 elections approach.

“As the 2019 elections draws closer, the Nigeria Police and indeed all security agencies must ensure that acts of intimidation and coercion such as political assassinations are prevented.

“There is no room for excuses anymore. The security agencies must be alive to their responsibility of securing the lives and property of Nigerians.

“This is unacceptable. The police must ensure that the gunman and all those involved are not only apprehended but brought to justice.

“As the 2019 elections draw closer, it is of utmost importance that the police and other security agencies deploy their intelligence to forestall wanton killings and other violent acts that are programmed to cause fear and panic among Nigerians.

“These kinds of incidents must be nipped in the bud before they get out of hand.

“I commiserate with the Ekweremadu family and pray that God will continue to keep them safe,” he said.

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