Alex Enumah in Abuja
The Nigeria Police Wednesday paraded the alleged informant, one Ismail Yakubu, a native of Waru village in Apo district, for giving false information to the police, leading to the search of the Abuja residence of Chief Edwin Clerk.
A team of police personnel led by one Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) David Dominic had on Tuesday afternoon invaded the home of the South-south leader and former Federal Commissioner for Information in search of guns in his house.
Speaking during his parade by the police at the Force Headquarters in Abuja, the informant gave a detailed account of how he got the information that there were arms in Chief Clerk’s house.
Yakubu, 45, said he was on his way on Monday to receive a consignment from an anonymous caller around the ECOWAS area in Asokoro when the taxi he boarded ran into a blockade around Haile Selassie street, Asokoro, Abuja.
He said on enquiry, he was told by the taxi driver that the blockade was caused by a truck entering house number 43 Haile Selassie street.
He added that the driver of the taxi categorically told him that the truck contained arms. He said being a citizen of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and going by the relative peace in the FCT, he took it upon himself to report the matter to the police.
“I did not have access to the STS to report the matter that Monday evening, so I came on Tuesday and reported the matter to Inspector Sada,” he said.
Yakubu insisted that he was innocent of any crime, adding that as a citizen, he was bound to give information to security agencies that would help curtail or prevent the commission of crime.
But the police, who condemned the raid, particularly due to the involved officers’ failure to follow due process of law in carrying out such search, said the police officers, who are currently under investigation, would be punished according to law if convicted of any misconduct.
The Force Public Relations Officer, Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police, Jimoh Moshood, said: “Notwithstanding, the facts that on daily basis the Nigeria Police Force across the country receives information from members of the public which were promptly used to prevent and detect crimes and criminalities, the Force will not condone misconducts by any of its personnel that can run contrary to the rule of law.
“The police therefore has the statutory rights to execute a duly obtained search warrant in any premises where it has actionable intelligence or information that incriminating items or exhibits used to commit crime or about to be used for criminality with the aims of recovering them to prevent the commission of such crime or to detect the crime that have been committed.
“Any officer who is to carry out the execution of search warrant must follow the laid down procedures within the law. Where such is not followed, such an officer must be made to face the consequences of violating the rule of law.
“The officer that led the team has been queried and the three (3) Inspectors are currently undergoing orderly trial for the appropriate punishment to be meted out on them.”
Moshood while reiterating the position of the police over the embarrassment the search has caused, added that the IG had already sent a high powered delegation, led by a DIG and other senior police officers to apologise to the elder statesman over the search.
He insisted the search on Clerk’s residence on Tuesday by the police officers was unauthorised, illegal and a display of professional misconduct by the officers.
“The delegation was received by Chief Edwin Clark and the apology was accepted by him.
“The informant (suspect), Ismail Yakubu – Informant from Waru Village, Apo District, Abuja will be arraigned in court this morning for giving false information and telling falsehood to mislead police action,” he said.