14 August 2018

Nigeria: Saraki Calls for Independent Investigation of SSS Siege At Nass

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has called for an independent investigation into the recent invasion of the National Assembly by operatives of the State Security Service (SSS).

Officials of the SSS on august 7 laid siege to the National Assembly complex preventing lawmakers, journalists and other staff from gaining entrance.

The operatives said they were acting on "order from above."

Some lawmakers told PREMIUM TIMES the siege was to aid senators who support President Muhammadu Buhari remove Senate President Bukola Saraki and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu.

The Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, thereafter, ordered the immediate sack of the Director General of the SSS, Lawal Daura. The presidency said the siege was not authorised.

Mr Daura was promptly replaced by the next most senior official at the SSS,

Mr Saraki at a press conference condemned the siege and praised the Acting President for terminating Mr Daura's appointment.

He also said he will not relinquish his position as senate president, contrary to the demand of Nigeria's governing party, APC. The senate president recently left the APC for the main opposition party, PDP.

On his official twitter handle on Tuesday, Mr Saraki called on President Muhammadu Buhari to set up an independent judicial panel of inquiry into the siege on the National Assembly.

"The very serious questions about last Tuesday's siege on the National Assembly can only be answered through a thorough and neutral investigation.

"I call on Mr. President to immediately institute an independent judicial panel of inquiry to look into that assault on our democracy," he tweeted.

The very serious questions about last Tuesday's siege on the National Assembly can only be answered through a thorough and neutral investigation. I call on Mr. President to immediately institute an independent judicial panel of inquiry to look into that assault on our democracy.

- Bukola Saraki (@bukolasaraki) August 14, 2018

Mr Saraki and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, had earlier accused the presidency of planning to implicate them and other members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the invasion.

The duo alleged that the presidency had constituted a closet panel to review the interim report submitted by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, and submit a final recommendation that implicate them and their colleagues.

They also said the mandate of the closet panel being formed by the federal government is to turn facts on their head and blame the invasion of the National Assembly on the two leaders of the Senate "who will then be presented as having worked in tandem with the sacked Director-General of the DSS, Mallam Lawal Daura to stage the parliamentary security breach."

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