By Aaron Ossai
The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has commended the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Idris Kpotun, on the prosecution of one of the false whistle blowers, whom police alleged misled them into raiding his official guest house in Abuja on Friday, May 27.
Reacting to the arraignment of the suspect, Ahmed Echodo, before an Upper Area Court, Gudu, Abuja, on Tuesday, Ekweremadu said such would serve as a lesson to other false whistle blowers and agencies of government.
He said: “I want to give the police hierarchy the benefit of doubt that it did not authorise the impunity, harassment, and witch-hunt executed by police officers on my official guest house last Friday, and that the police were misled.
“I hope the swift arraignment of the alleged whistle blowers will be emulated by other security and anti-corruption agencies and also serve as a deterrent to those who lend themselves as willing tools to people out to intimidate and persecute others as well as tarnish their image for whatever motives.
“But beyond the arraignment, I urge the police to dig deeper to determine if there were influential masterminds behind the incident as a bird does not dance by the roadside without a drumbeater somewhere in the bush”.
“Perhaps, if the attempt on my life on November 17, 2015 was taken seriously by the security agencies, those who desperately seek to destroy me by all means possible would have been fished out or had a rethink” Ekweremadu added.
Although the Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, earlier insisted that the raid during which nothing incriminating was found was not carried out by men of the force, the police, however, on Tuesday arraigned Echodo for allegedly conspiring with one Maiwada Adamu, now at large, to mislead them into the raid.
The police accused defendant of “criminal conspiracy and giving false information to mislead public servant contrary to Section 97 (1) and 140 of penal Code Law”.
The charge signed by Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Ibrahim Agu read: “That on 26/05/17, at about 0900hr, you, Ahmed Echodo ‘M’ aged 50 years, of No. 44 Living Truth Street, Masaka, Nasarawa State and one Maiwada Adamu now at large did conspire within yourselves by informing the Office of IGP, STS at Guzape Area of FCT, Abuja that house No 10 Ganges Street, Maitama, FCT, Abuja occupied by Oliver Ogenyi is being maintained and used for criminal activities, including keeping of firearms and ammunitions.
“Unfortunately, after the police carried out diligent execution of the search warrant no incriminating items were found therein. You by such action misled the police and hereby committed the above offences”.
The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The bail application by the defendant’s counsel, Mr. Peters Ugwuoke, was opposed by the police prosecutor, ASP Ismail Taiwo.
The Chief Upper Area Court judge, Umar Kagarko, after listening to the arguments, adjourned till June 5, 2017 for ruling on the bail application.
It would be recalled that Senator Ekweremadu had on May 3, 2017, read to the Senate in plenary a written, but anonymous tip-off, on a plot to plant incriminating sums of foreign currencies, arms, and ammunitions in a house linked to him under the pretext of the whistle blower policy.
The aim, according to the source, was to rubbish, arrest, prosecute, and ultimately remove Senator Ekweremadu from office.