Declaring a lawmaker representing Bauchi Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives, Yakubu Shehu wanted by the police has been described as unprocedural and hasty.
This is as the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has criticised the Bauchi Command of the Nigeria Police Force.
The former speaker alleged that the police in the state have allowed themselves to be used as a tool of political oppression to hunt members of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Dogara as learnt by Naija News during a press briefing in Bauchi on Wednesday noted that the decision to declare the lawmaker wanted was too hasty.
It would be recalled that the Bauchi Command of the Nigeria Police Force had on Tuesday declared Shehu wanted while putting a one million naira bounty on his head.
Shehu was accused by the police of crimes bothering criminal conspiracy, causing grievous hurt, disturbance of public peace and culpable homicide.
However, in his reaction, Dogara said “Relating to our brother who is being accused by the police, everybody knows that he is a sitting member (of the House of Representatives) and for a member to be invited by the police, they know the law, the Legislative Houses, Powers, Privileges and Immunities Act is there; they know the law. They know how to invite him and they must not break it. For you to invite a lawmaker in just a few hours and you declare him wanted, when you know that you are even violating the law in the process of inviting him!
“Any member who is to be invited to appear before any authority, a letter is to be written to the Clerk, which has to be forwarded to the Speaker, who has to approve for him to appear. I was a Speaker and I saw so many of those letters and I treated them. That wasn’t done by the police in this case.
“Why did they rush to pass judgment? Is it just because someone’s name is mentioned in relation to an incident over which investigations have not been concluded? And you are declaring a member wanted when you’ve not even given him the opportunity to appear. These, to our minds, give us the impression that maybe there is collusion between the authorities and the government in Bauchi State in order to come hard on members of the APC, knowing that the governor has lost it; the governor is just spewing lies in order to cover his tracks. We see this as a display of mendacity.”
But the Commissioner of Police, Bauchi State, Aminu Alhassan has countered Dogara’s position saying “We (police) are apolitical; the command does not go after politicians. I don’t support any person to win or for one to have an advantage over the other. I have also warned my people in my command not to work towards giving any party an advantage over the other.
“On the police invitation, a day after the incident and before the death of one of the victims of this shooting, I was in touch with those in the APC. But when we heard that somebody died and all accusing fingers were pointing at four prominent persons in that group (APC), we had to start looking for them. I spoke with the APC and requested for the four people mentioned to come and they assured me that they were coming but they didn’t come.
“The expression there was that they couldn’t get Honourable Yakubu. I told them clearly that I would no longer wait for any of them to bring Yakubu and Gokaru to me. I said I was going out to arrest them and they should not feel slighted. I did that. I then sent my operatives to go and sniff into all the nooks and crannies where these people hibernate, but on hearing that I was looking for them, they all ran out of Bauchi.
“We tracked them and discovered how he left Bauchi and where he went before finally reaching Abuja. We went to his house to drop our written letter and before they (his family) accepted it, they called him and told him that we brought a letter. He told them to accept it; he is fully aware. We don’t need to go to the National Assembly. This is a criminal issue, and every hand is pointing at a particular man; we don’t need to go to that extent.”
This article was originally published on Naija News
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Author: Tayo Elegbede