The Speaker of House of the House of Representatives, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal, on Saturday asked the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Suleiman Abba, to invite him for questioning and possible arrest if found to have fallen fowl of the law.
Tambuwal was reacting to the directive the IGP reportedly gave to state police commissioners to invite him for questioning over the commotion that took place at the National Assembly on Thursday.
Tambuwal said the IGP did not need to seek far to invite him as he was freely available to answer any questions from law enforcement agencies, being a law-abiding citizen.
In a statement by his Special Assistant, Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Imam Imam, the speaker said he did not enjoy any immunity against arrest or protection except privileges conferred on him by the Legislative Powers and Privileges Act.
“The Honorable Speaker wishes to state that he is a law-abiding citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who has no immunity against arrest and prosecution except privileges as may be provided by the Legislative Powers and Privileges Act.
“Accordingly, the Speaker states for the records that he is available, ready and willing to answer any lawful invitation from any of the security agencies on any matter for which they may require his attention.”
However, he berated the police for their “unprofessional” and “disgraceful” conduct in the manner they locked down the National Assembly on Thursday.
Tambuwal said the police were out to stop him from entering the premises.
He noted that the lockdown led to the avoidable commotion as members were left with no options but to scale the gates to gain access into the premises.
The statement reads further, “Most disgraceful is the false statement later issued by the Police in which they claimed that in the lawful exercise of their duties, “ Alh Aminu Tambuwal CFR, arrived the venue with a motley crowd,who broke the cordon, assaulted the Police and evaded due process.”
“This blatant falsehood coming from a law enforcement agency, that is expected to be neutral and lawful, is unfortunate, to say the least.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Speaker came to National Assembly accompanied by members as is customary during any sitting of the House.
“They all came with their official vehicles but were disallowed from driving into the premises.
“Certainly members, who arrived the precinct of the National Assembly in response to a call to perform an urgent, critical national assignment, cannot be described by any self respecting institution as “a motley crowd “
“It is important to remind the Nigeria Police Force that as a public institution that provides common services for all the arms of government, they must not allow themselves to be used by one of the arms to undermine the others.”
But the Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abba, on Saturday denied issuing any arrest order on lawmakers involved in the commotion and the alleged attack on Policemen at the National Assembly premises.
He said the investigating Police Officers will determine who to invite, quiz and prosecute as the case may be.
Abba also condemned, in very strong terms, the unwarranted attack on police officers providing security at a political rally in Oke Ado area of Ibadan, Oyo State, during which one Police Inspector was shot dead and five others sustained injuries.
While ordering a thorough investigation into the shooting incident and the attendant death of a service personnel, the IG reiterated his warning to political actors to desist from the use of thugs in pursuing their agenda.
“The IG reaffirmed the resolve and determination of the Nigeria Police to provide a safe and secure corridor for all political competitors, stressing that offenders of the Electoral Act will face the full wrath of the law,” a statement on Saturday in Abuja, by the Force Public Relations Officer, Emmanuel Ojukwu, said.