‘Why make them scapegoats?’ — Clark kicks against dismissal of policemen who invaded his residence

Edwin Clark, an Ijaw national leader, has condemned the police for dismissing three of the officers who searched his house.

TheCable had reported how some policemen invaded the Abuja residence of the elder statesman on Tuesday.

After the incident, Ibrahim Idris, inspector-general of police, apologised to Clark and said the officers acted without taking permission.

He later ordered the dismissal of the policemen responsible for the invasion.

But the Ijaw leader said it was wrong for the police authorities to give the impression that they were unaware of the search, adding that the personnel were merely carrying out instructions from their superiors.

Clark alleged that Joseph Mbu, assistant inspector general of police (AIG) in charge of federal intelligence, ordered the search of his home.

He spoke when he received former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar and Ifeanyi Okowa, governor of Delta state, at his residence in Abuja, on Friday.

“Let me recapitulate that, on that day, that is, Tuesday, 4th September, 2018, at about 12:30pm, the police officers in question, from the IGP Special Tactical Squad, under the command of one Deputy Commissioner of Police, Kolo Yusuf, arrived my residence in two vehicles, one 18-seater Toyota Hiace Bus and a Toyota Hilux with registration number EU 979 ABC,” he said.

“Some of them were outside the gate armed, while three of them came inside and presented to me a warrant for search duly issued by a court of competent jurisdiction. As a law-abiding citizen, a father of this country, and a lawyer of more than 53 years in practice, I dutifully cooperated and permitted them to carry out their official duties.

“I, however, left them in no doubt of who I am, and questioned if they still wanted to proceed with their official assignment of searching my entire residence for so-called stock-pile of weapons and ammunition from the Niger Delta.

“The officers in question, led by ASP David Aku, diligently and painstainkingly carried out their duties, for about two hours, including searching the private quarters of my wife. I should mention that, while the search was on going, one of my sons, the former federal permanent secretary and also former secretary to Bayelsa state government, Ambassador Boladei Igali, who had been with me made telephone contact with one AIG Shehu, who is in charge of Intelligence in the Nigeria Police Force.

“In the evening of the same day, the high command led by DIG Joshak Habilla, including the AIG (Legal), the FCT Police Commissioner, and two other Commissioners of Police, met with me at about 10pm, and conveyed the apologies of the Inspector-General of Police. They explained further that the matter would be fully investigated and appropriate action taken against all who were involved in the incidence which they described as unfortunate.
Against this backdrop, I will like to state as follows:

“The young Officers who came to my residence, must not be made scape-goats. Merely sacking the officers concerned, when they were indeed carrying out official instructions, is not enough, if we are to avert such occurrences in future. The incident, must, therefore, be fully investigated and all those involved brought to book.

“For someone to say that they didn’t know these boys were on their own and, therefore, they should be dismissed; why deceive Nigerians? If you made a mistake, say you’ve made a mistake.”