Members of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly on Sunday asked President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the National Assembly to investigate Thursday’s raid of the state’s Government House by operatives of the State Security Services.
In a statement made available to journalists in Abuja on Thursday and signed by all members of the Assembly, the lawmakers said the raid on the governor’s official residence was an attack on the entire people of Akwa Ibom state.
An official of the SSS had on Friday told PREMIUM TIMES that officials, who carried out the raid, found piles of dollars at the presidential wing of the Government House.
He said the operatives left the cash intact and did not take evacuate it from the complex.
The lawmakers, however, accused the SSS agents of having “damaged valuables belonging to the Government and people of Akwa Ibom State”.
They said their call for investigation is based on the constitutional provision that guarantees immunity from prosecution for a sitting governor.
They also said the SSS did not inform Governor Udom Emmanuel of their mission, arguing that the raid violated Section 308 of Nigeria’s constitution.
“Since the Constitution has clearly freed the Governor from being brought under court warrant in the discharge of his legitimate duties, it is on record that before embarking on that ill-advised operation, the SSS never communicated with the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, who is also the chief security officer of the state, on why it was necessary to search his official residence in Uyo,” the lawmakers said.
The assembly also alleged that Governor Emmanuel was being singled out for persecution by the leadership of the SSS.
“While the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Vice President as well as the Governors and Deputy Governors across the country are protected under constitutional immunity, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State has been singled out and stripped of this right which was provided for him under the law.
“We are firm in the belief that if the raid on the Hilltop Mansion was not an act of felony, persecution and political vendetta, the DSS would have declared their mission before unleashing terror on innocent workers of Akwa Ibom State Government and or openly declare to the authorities in the state what they found and what they took away from our Government House,” they said.
The lawmakers also said contrary to information released by an official of the SSS to the media, “no arms or stacks of money were found in Akwa Ibom State Government House”.
They added, “We also condemn in the strongest terms the illegal assault on the symbol of our pride and the embodiment of the confederacy of Akwa Ibom State in the Nigerian Federation by the Daura-led State Security Service.
“We, hereby challenge the Director General of the SSS, Alhaji Lawal Musa Daura, to tell the people of Akwa Ibom State, Nigerians and indeed lovers of democracy all over the world, why he ordered the ill-fated operation on the Akwa Ibom State Government House.
“The people of Akwa Ibom State will hold Mr. Daura and the SSS responsible if any unforeseen incident befall the Governor, his Deputy or key officials of Akwa Ibom State Government.
“We, therefore, invite Nigerians from all walks of life to rise up and overwhelmingly challenge acts of impunity by the political class and security operatives in the country, including the State Security Service.
“We also invite President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the National Assembly to launch proper investigation into the ridiculous action of the SSS.
“We are shocked that the SSS which is currently purging officers it claimed to have shown unconcealed partisanship should descend so low to the extent of staging a coup d’état on our governor, simply because he belongs to an opposition party
“It is, therefore, on this note that we pledge that the House of Assembly and indeed the people of Akwa Ibom State will take every necessary action within the law, to protect and preserve our federacy in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”