There was uproar yesterday over the raid on the Abuja residence of elder statesman and leader of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Chief Edwin Clark, by officers of the Nigeria Police Force.
Nigerian Leaders and Elders Forum condemned the raid, saying it views the provocative search as not arising from any intelligence report but a sheer act of intimidation on a home that has served as meeting point for patriots across Nigeria engaged in peaceful consultations to save Nigeria from the edge of the precipice.
While the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide said the raid on Clark’s residence is an indication that Nigeria is gradually descending into a full-blown anarchy, PANDEF urged the presidency to call the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Kpotum-Idris, to order.
But IGP Idris denied ordering the raid, even as he ordered the detention and investigation of the four Police personnel and the informant involved in the invasion of the house of the erstwhile federal commissioner for Information and South South leader at No 43, Haile Selassie Street, Asokoro.
Force PRO, Jimoh Moshood, who made the IGP’s position known assured that the outcome of the investigation will definitely be made public.
He said, “The Force wishes to categorically state that, the Inspector General of Police is not aware and did not order the raid of the residence of the Elder Statesman, Chief Edwin Clark.
“Notwithstanding the fact that on daily basis the Nigeria Police Force across the country receives information from members of the public, which are promptly used to prevent and detect crimes and criminalities, the Force will not condone misconduct by any of its personnel that can run contrary to the rule of law.”
The six Police officers yesterday raided Clark’s residence alleging that he was stockpiling arms and ammunition meant for Niger Delta militants in his Abuja home.
Specifically, the Police officers alleged that they were in the house to search for arms, which they accused him of keeping for militants.
The policemen from Guzape headquarters of the Special Tactical Force (STF) and the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) were said to have arrived Clark’s house at 12:30pm and left at 2:30pm.
Led by DCP Kolo Yusuf, the officers numbering six came with an 18-Seater Hiace Bus and a four Runner Car with registration number EU 979 ABC and a Search Warrant that was obtained from an Abuja court.
The Policemen, on arrival, were said to have made enquiries, went inside the building, asked for the Secretary to Chief Clark, Dorothy Koko, who had gone to the bank as the time they came.
LEADERSHIP gathered that the officers requested to see her at all cost and at this time, a call was made to her to come back to the office, which she did immediately.
The Police officers reportedly asked her to open her office, which she did, and they searched the place thoroughly before going to her bedroom and toilet to conduct further search.
“The policemen later found their way to Chief Clark’s bedroom where they also carried out a search in his room, the toilet, his wife’s room, the children’s room, the sitting rooms, among other places”, an aide to Clark told our correspondent.
He said at the end of the exercise that lasted for about two hours, the policemen left without finding anything incriminating against the elder statesman.
The source who did want his name in print further said, “We did not stopped them from carrying out the search. They said Baba is keeping arms for militants who have threatened to resume hostilities since government have severally reneged on the agreement reached with them.
“I think the problem here is that the government is simply afraid of its shadows since they have failed in their responsibilities. All they are trying to do is to silence all oppositions to their misrule but they made a mistake because they can’t stop Baba from speaking against injustice in the land”.
Three policemen were said to have signed a legal document indicating that neither arm nor ammunition was found in the house of Chief Clark or anything incriminating, while three persons from the side of Clark also signed the document before they took it to the office.
Those who signed on behalf of Chief Clark were former permanent secretary in the ministry of power, Ambassador Godknows Igali; Secretary General of PANDEF, Dr Alfred Mulade and Mr Mac Emakpore.
Condemning the invasion, Nigerian Leaders and Elders Forum said the provocative search did not arise from any intelligence report.
According to it, it was a sheer act of intimidation on a home that has served as meeting point for patriots across Nigeria engaged in peaceful consultations to save Nigeria from the edge of the precipice.
A statement signed by spokesperson of the forum, Yinka Odumakin and others noted: “The traumatization of Pa Clark at 91 is yet another proof that mad power has taken over our polity and its desperation now walking on four with all boundaries of decency collapsed for raw display of beastly tendencies.
“The Nigerian Leaders and Elders Forum demands an immediate apology to Chief Clark by the Nigerian Police whose leadership at the moment has shown serial unprofessionalism and Dark Age policing.
“We want to sound it loud and clear to the administration that if the object of this intimidation is to send fear signals to patriots who are demanding better leadership for our country, it has backfired .We all counted the cost before we chose to embark on standing up for the country.”
On its part, PANDEF urged the presidency to call the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Kpotum-Idris, to order.
National publicity secretary of PANDEF, Anabs Sara-Igbe, said, “I have just been reliably informed that the Nigeria Police force is invading the Asokoro residence of the leader of the Southern Nigeria and PANDEF, Chief (Dr) Senator Edwin Kiagbodo Clark.
“The reason for the invasion is not yet known. PANDEF condemns in totality the action and assault on our leader and elder statesman of over 91years, who has contributed to the development of Nigeria in several ways, including restoring the most required peace in the Niger Delta Region. We therefore call on the residency to call the Inspector General of Police to order forthwith”.
Also, the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide said yesterday that the raid on Clark’s residence is an indication that Nigeria is gradually descending into a full-blown anarchy.
President of the IYC, Barrister Oweilaemi Pereotubor, while condemning the invasion on the residence of the elder statesman said, “This is dangerous for our democracy. Nigeria is heading to the cliff.
“Relevant stakeholders need to rise in defence of our hard earned democracy. President Buhari should call his overbearing security agencies to order before they plunge the Country into an unmitigated crisis.
“There can be no democracy where there is no dissenting voices. Mr. President should accept that our democracy cannot exist without opposition elements to his government. Chief Clarke who is an elder statesman, his views on national issues need to be appreciated by the Government of the day instead of being witch hunted.”
Reacting to the invasion, Chief Clark said he would not be intimidated noting ‘I will continue to talk’, even as he assured that his lawyers would take up the matter.