- The House of Representatives has condemned the remarks by the police against its speaker, Yakubu Dogara
- The House said the allegation by the police that the speaker and other politicians have ties with the lead campaigner of the #ENDSARS is the height of blackmail
- The lawmakers also warned the police to desist from diverting the public's attention from the weighty allegations against it especially the SARS unit
Members of the House of Representatives on Thursday, December 8, condemned the remarks made by the spokesperson of the Nigeria Police Force, Jimoh Moshood, that some politicians including its speaker, Yakubu Dogara, have ties with the lead convener of the #ENDSARS campaign, Segun Awosanya.
The lawmakers said the remark by the police is the height of blackmail against the person and the office of the speaker of the House of Representatives.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, then chairman of the House committee on media and publicity, Abdulrazak Namdas, said for the sake of clarity, the Green Chamber wishes to address the "mischief inherent in this sinister and insidious action by Moshood and the police."
Namdas said the police was focused on diverting the attention of the public from the sordid and weighty allegations against the Police especially the SARS unit.
Noting that the House is investigating the matter, Namdas said the lawmakers would however abstain from indulging in any comment that might be prejudicial to the investigation.
Namdas said: "This not withstanding, because of the gravity of the mischief, it is imperative to disabuse the minds of the public. It is important to note at this point that the Police spokesman accuses politicians and Speaker Dogara along cannot be politicians.
"In any case, the House of Representatives and indeed the parliament happens to be the home of the highest number of politicians especially elected officials. It is obvious that, they are part of the politicians being so accused.
"Speaker Yakubu Dogara is not ashamed of being a politician because he is not just a politician but a tested and trusted leader, a lawyer and legislator of note with untainted honour and impeccable integrity. The Honourable members of the House of Representatives do not also have any cause to deny their status as politicians
"For the avoidance of doubt, the picture in question was taken in September this year, when Mr. Awosanya came to submit the petition against SARS, which is a daily happenstance in the House and indeed any other parliament. This should not in any way be interpreted as ‘hobnobbing’ with politicians.
"If any official interaction between citizens and politicians is to be construed as "hobnobbing" then, all citizens, the Police inclusive would be guilty," he said.
Namdas added that the police ought to know that sovereignty belongs to the people and the House of Representatives is made up of true representatives of the people.
He said the House of Representatives under the watch of Speaker Dogara cannot be intimidated to abandon the investigation into these allegations of corruption and brutality against innocent citizens by SARS.
"The House would thoroughly investigate this matter and ensure that justice is done.
"The Police as law enforcers are aware that no institution of government is above the laws of the land and subjection to the oversight and scrutiny of the legislature," Namdas added.
The House further advised the police to ensure its personnel respect the constitutional rights of the citizens by participating in governance through opinions and contribution of ideas.
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Namdas also said the police must ensure it carries out its major responsibility of protecting citizens including those exercising their constitutional right by protest against SARS.
Meanwhile in a quick response to the condemnation by the House, the spokesperson for the police said the police holds the speaker in high esteem.
Moshood in a statement received by NAIJ.com said: "The Force holds the Honourable Speaker in high esteem and has high regards and respect for the person and office of the Honourable Speaker, House of Representatives and will not do anything to disrespect his Office and his Person in any way."
NAIJ.com earlier reported that the police had accused Awosanya of being sponsored by politicians on the campaign to scrap SARS.
The police alleged that Awosanya had connections to politicians and his activities are not genuine.
Pointing to photographs of Awosanya with Speaker Dogara and other politicians, the police said they have their reasons for doubting his call to end SARS is not politically motivated.
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