By; IYOKPO J. EGBODO, Abuja
The House of Representatives has vowed to carry investigation into the alleged excesses of the police Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS), notwithstanding what it described as blackmail by the Force Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mr Jimoh Moshood.
The House through its spokesman, Abdulrazak Namdas on Thursday accused Moshood of making public comments to the effect that Speaker Yakubu Dogara and other politicians have links with leader of the #EndSARS campaign, Mr. Segun Awosanya.
Namdas said Moshood’s insinuations that Awosanya has ties with POLITICIANS and even displaying a photograph in which the said Awosanya appears with Dogara was “the height of blackmail against the person and office of the Speaker, and an affront on the institution of the House of Representatives”.
He explained that even though the Force PRO denied accusing the speaker of sponsoring Mr. Awosanya and other campaigners, the House ‘s response was necessary “for the sake of clarity to address the mischief inherent in this sinister and insidious action by Moshood and the Police to make the Speaker and the House of Representatives subject of controversy, and to divert public attention from the apparently sordid and weighty allegations against the Police, especially the SARS unit”.
The spokesman of the House said “In the consciousness of the fact that the House is investigating the matter, we shall abstain from indulging in any comment that might be prejudicial to the investigation. 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 Horouble 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.
“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; hence people have the constitutional right to express themselves without let or hindrance; and so can at any time petition the National Assembly, on any issue that affects their interests or the interest of the nation.
“As the Speaker assured the petitioners in September, the House of Representatives under his watch 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”.