* Bauchi Police Commissioner Says Lawmaker Yakubu Is Not Immune
By Khalid Idris Doya
Former speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara has faulted the declaration of want by the Nigeria Police of the member representing the Bauchi federal constituency, Hon. Yakubu Shehu Abdullahi for alleged public disturbance and culpable homicide.
According to him, the police acted against the laid down procedure for inviting a House member for any alleged offence, and contrary to the law preceding any offence a lawmaker might have allegedly committed in the society.
Addressing a press conference Wednesday on the notice of arrest by the police on the serving lawmaker, Yakubu Shehu Abdullahi, the former speaker explained that the police erred in law by the hasty declaration of the notice on the said serving member of lower chamber of the National Assembly.
He said, “I was a speaker of the House of Representatives, I know the process of inviting a house member accused of committing an offence. And it’s a mere accusation, nobody is alleging he saw him shooting with a gun or he shot people to death, it’s a mere saying he imported some people to shoot”.
Hon. Yakubu Dogara queried, “Does it make sense to say that our own security personnel were shooting their own police, does it make sense?
Dogara explained, “For members of the House of Representatives to be invited by the police, they know the law, the legislative house privileges and immunities are there, they know how to invite him, and the police are supposed to be enforcing the law, not breaking it”.
“For you to invite a member of the house, you declare him in just few hours, when you know that you are violating the law of inviting him, because member who is to be invited by any authority, a letter has to be written to the clerk, and has to be forwarded to the speaker who will approve for the appearance”.
He further queries, “Just because someone’s name is mentioned in relation to an incident over which an investigation has not been done, you declare a sitting member of the House of Representatives wanted, when you did not even give him the opportunity to appear”.
As to the whereabouts of the accused member, Hon. Yakubu Shehu Abdullahi, the former speaker assured the press that, “The member is with us now and together with him along we would cast our votes to defeat the incumbent governor, Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed”.
Reacting to the non compliance with the laid down procedure of arrest notice, Bauchi commissioner of Police, CP Aminu Alhassan, said that the lawmaker is not immune to arrest based on the criminal allegations levelled against him.
The commissioner explained that the police is not partisan when it comes to issues of activities of political parties, stressing that the police in the state is not supporting any candidate of any political party to win the gubernatorial election.
He stated categorically that he has no preferred gubernatorial candidate of the three main political parties contesting the governorship seat, adding he is a friend to all of them.
“Following the violence that erupted at the governor’s hometown at Duguri village in Alkaleri local government that left one person dead with 15 others injured, the police in the state commenced its investigation into the incident because four prominent politicians were indicted in the matter.
“In all fairness to everybody, a day after the incident that happened late in the evening. Before the death of one of the victims of the shooting, I was more or less in touch with those in the APC. Their complaint was that some people were gathering elsewhere in Bauchi state to attack them, I repelled it by sending policemen to escort them wherever they were going.”
“When we heard that somebody died and all accusing fingers were pointing at four prominent persons in that group, we had to start looking for them, honestly, one of the fastest way of getting any information, is to first talk to the stakeholders.I told the APC that I will need at least two major stakeholders in the state and they assured me that they were coming.”
“Late in the evening, I had to contact them through my phone, even sent messages to them that these are the people I needed because allegations were going on, I even sent pictures of allegations being made from left and right and we, the police, cannot rely on allegations without clearing it.
“Later, I was told by the stakeholders I contacted that they could not get to Honourable Yakubu, so I told them clean and clear that I am not waiting for them to bring Yakubu and Bakaro to me, I am going out to arrest them.I told them not to feel slighted, I then sent my operatives to sneak into every nook and crannies where these people are, but on hearing that I was looking for them, they all ran out of Bauchi state.”
“This is the time for digital tracking and I discovered how he left bauchi, where he went, before finally reaching Abuja. We don’t have that time to go to Abuja to look for him because we are occupied with the preparations for the forthcoming election. So, we made it known before the public that he is wanted, we went to his family to drop a letter which before they accept it they called him and he told them to collect the letter.”
“He is fully aware, we don’t need to go to the National Assembly and even the assembly saying that we need to inform them before we order for his arrest, no, this is a criminal issue that everybody is pointing at a particular person.We don’t need to go to that extent.
“For all my stay in the police as an officer and as a commissioner of police, this is my third command I have handled, there was never a time that a House of Representatives member or senator has immunity.”