Let Police Do Their Job, Buhari Tells Nigerians
"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 politicisation," a statement demanding an end to 'orchestrated campaign against President Muhammadu Buhari read.
Nigerians will not forget July 25, 2018 in a hurry. If not forever, at least until after 2019 general elections.
The activity that characterised the day could be described as 'Defection Day' and prior to the defections, the police had tried to enforce its invitation issued to the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, but mixed the target. A convoy without the Senate President was frantically followed and double-crossed in futility.
Dr. Saraki had issued a statement, claiming he was being persecuted in an attempt to stop defection plan, but the defection happened anyway.
After 52 lawmakers of the All Progressives Congress defected to the Peoples Democratic Party, the Presidency issued a statement, making its position clear about the invitation of top members of the National Assembly and other 'Very Important Personalities (VIP) in Nigeria.
The Statement by a spokesman for President Buhari, Mr Garba Shehu, read: "The Presidency has taken note of the orchestrated campaign against President Muhammadu Buhari each time a Very Important Person (VIP) is invited by the law enforcement agencies, in the discharge of their legitimate duties and functions.
"The law of the land is intended for all, not for the poor or those at the lowest rungs of the social ladder.
"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 politicisation".
'This President Is Different'
Mr Shehu further explained why it had become necessary that law enforcement agencies be allowed to interrogate VIPs.
"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.
"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. President Buhari does not and will not influence or interfere with cases.
"The constitution clearly directs law enforcement agencies to promptly report and investigate any actual or potential infringement of the law and also initiate proceedings against all those involved," the statement further read.
The police say they are your friend and the spokesman for President Buhari also wants you to know who the best friend of the law is.
"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 said.
The Senate President in his statement claimed that the police were being used by the party in power to persecute persons who were no longer ready to be part of the ruling party, but the president insists that accused persons should approach the courts to plead their innocence rather than going to the public to plead persecution.
"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 politicising law enforcement," the statement added.
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