The Senate Committee on Police Affairs Thursday alleged that former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan used the Police as a political tool against perceived political opponents.
The committee was mandated by the Senate in plenary on Wednesday to ensure immediate compliance to its resolution demanding the reinstatement of the security details of Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano.
The upper chamber asked the committee to follow up the resolution on Wednesday and report back to the Senate yesterday (Thursday).
The committee headed by Senator Abu Ibrahim, said in a report that it is “significant and exemplary” that the President and Commander-in- Chief, Muhammadu Buhari ordered the immediate reinstatement of the Governor’s security details even before the Senate resolution.
The committee described what happened in respect of Governor Obiano’s security details as “most unfortunate,” and added that “it is heartwarming that the Police Authorities have explained that the action was not intended to cause the governor any injury or harm.”
The committee said that Nigerians “must not forget however that the perceived use of the Police to persecute a sitting governor was actually made a best-practice tool by immediate past administrations.”
It added that “in those days of impunity, the directives (to use the Police to persecute political opponents) were directly linked to the Presidency and the then sitting Presidents never issued any instructions to counter the positions of the Police and security services.”
It said: The following examples illustrate clearly: “Dr Chris Ngige as the then Governor of Anambra State suffered abduction and when he regained freedom and attempted to castigate the powers that be at the Federal level, his security details were withdrawn on January 2nd 2005.
“In April 2007, a few days to the election, ’higher’ authorities ordered the withdrawal of the ADC and the C50 to Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The APC Leader was also threatened with arrest in the lead-up to the 2011 elections.
“In September 2013, then Governor Rotimi Amaechi in his capacity as the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors ‘Forum, was harassed on several occasions with the threat of withdrawal of his security aides.
“While his were repeated threats, the President of this Distinguished Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, was not that lucky. His aides were actually withdrawn in September 2013 as punishment for his support of the rebellion within the then ruling PDP.
“In February 2014, the security details attached to the then Governor of the Central Bank, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, were withdrawn on the orders of the Presidency. The same man suffered the same fate again when he became the Emir of Kano, in June 2014.
“The Emir’s palace was sealed off by the Police to prevent him from entering it and he had to assume his responsibilities from within the confines of the Kano State Government House.
“It is also on record that, at the same time, security aides to then Governor (Now Distinguished Senator) Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso were withdrawn. All on ‘orders from above’.
“Then Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State had his security details withdrawn in April 2014.
“In October 2014, the security details of the then Speaker, House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, were withdrawn. This was after a blatant attempt was made to effect his impeachment.”
Following the order of President Buhari for the immediate reinstatement of the security details of the Anambra governor, the issue was not raised on the floor of the Senate Thursday.