Saraki’s Police Invitation: Nigeria’s Law For All, Not For Poor Alone – Presidency
The Presidency has frowned at the orchestrated campaign against President Muhammadu Buhari whenever a Very Important Person (VIP) was invited by the law enforcement agencies, in the discharge of their legitimate duties.
Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant, in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday, said “the law of the land is intended for all, not for the poor or those at the lowest rungs of the social ladder.’’
The presidential aide was reacting to various comments by VIPs and other Nigerians over the invitation of the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki by the police over the Offa robbery incident where over 30 people were killed.
The police had on June 4 asked for Saraki’s reaction to the statement made by some of the suspects arrested in connection to the most deadly robbery in the history of Nigeria.
Saraki wrote a statement dated 7 June.
The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris had on July 23 asked the Senate President to report on July 24 by 8.a.m, to make further statement on the robbery in Offa, and Saraki was yet to report to the police as at the time of filing this report.
However, Shehu said: “It is odd, strange and bizarre that while ordinary citizens can be called up to answer questions or be interrogated, the VIP cannot be questioned without the annoying insinuations of partisanship, persecution or outright politicization.
“This country cannot achieve development in peace when important cases are viewed through a political prism and the law is considered as being applicable to some, and not applicable to others.’’
According to the presidential aide, the workings of law enforcement agencies are set out in the constitution and the laws of the country.
“If they worked at the discretion of past presidents, who decided who to question and who to detain, Nigerians should get used to the fact that this President is different,’’ he added.
Shehu maintained that President Buhari had never and would not influence or interfere with cases.
He stated that the nation’s constitution had clearly directed law enforcement agencies to promptly report and investigate any actual or potential infringement of the law and also initiate proceedings against all those involved.
“This President is not the one who directs them on what to do.
“President Buhari does not stand in the way of law enforcement either. Under our constitution, he has no powers to stop the investigation of anyone or institution.
“When they are set to investigate anything and anyone, the best friend of the law is the one who lets them do their work.
“The President’s constant refrain is that he will not tolerate any form of illegality including corruption and the law enforcement agencies have been given complete freedom to identify and bring all culprits to justice.
“His instructions to them are very clear: Anyone with a case to answer or found guilty should not be spared.’’
He advised that accused persons should approach the courts to plead their innocence rather than going to the public to plead persecution.
He added: “The country is better served when the law enforcement agencies are allowed to do their work and we must stop the actors of this dangerous game of politicizing law enforcement.’’