The Nigerian Police Force has been accused of stealing the relevant documents needed to process and pass the 2017 budget, during the period of raiding the official residence of the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Danjuma Goje.
According to the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, the Police had informally told the Senate Committee on Police Affairs that the operation was carried out based on a wrong information from a whistle-blower. He, however, insisted that the Senate would not take that excuse as he declared that an immediate official explanation must be provided to the Senate on the operation. He said:
“This matter is very serious just as Senator Goje has said. It is now over five days with no statement or comments from the Police to tell us why this raid was done or to tell us where these files which are very important to the appropriation process are. If somebody has given you any wrong information, tell the public what you are doing with that person and if it is an intelligence officer that got the house wrong, come out and tell us. For five days now, nothing. I think it is unfortunate. I also got an information that the House of Representatives has also set up an adhoc committee on this matter and this committee that is set up should work closely with the House, particularly to ascertain the circumstances surrounding why they went to Senator Goje’s house. If truly it was a whistle-blower and he gave them wrong information, which is what the IG is telling them, what are they doing about that wrong information? Have they come out to make a public apology for this wrong raid? These are issues that the committee would look into and the files that are still in Police custody which Goje has told us is affecting the works before us, also needs to be brought publicly and formally to him because it was taken publicly.”
The Adhoc committee has Jibril Barau (APC, Kano State) as chairman. Other members are Isa Misau (APC, Bauchi State), Chukwuka Utazi (PDP, Enugu), David Umoru (APC, Niger State).
Briefing the Senate earlier, Goje said the policemen took N18 million, $19,000 and 4,000 Saudi Riyadh from his house after the operation. He said:
“In addition, they also took my laptop; and to make matters worse they took 18 files from my office. I am so traumatised… I don’t know which files is missing, which files is available now. Some of these files have to do with the work I am doing. Like I told you, we are holding a meeting on the budget that last Thursday that they came. So, from Thursday to now we have not been able to meet because some of the papers are not around, many of us are traumatised, my house as a politician is a beehive of activities; people are coming from all over the country to sympathise with me. I have no time to sit; and from today, we are trying to start sitting again as appropriation committee to see what we can do with the budget. I want to apologise to my colleagues that we could not keep to the timetable you gave us to lay the budget yesterday (Tuesday) and to get it passed (Wednesday); and I think it is not our own fault, it is the fault of the police because the police interfered with the whole of the budget process and I hope Nigerians will not turn out to blackmail the National Assembly because the process was truncated by the police.”
An ultimatum has therefore been given to the Inspector-General of the Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, to return the documents and a computer which were taken away.