Siege at Saraki’s residence stage-managed, says Jimoh Moshood

Jimoh Moshood, spokesman of the Nigeria police force, says the siege at the residence of Senate President Bukola Saraki was “stage-managed for public sentiments”.

Speaking on a Channels TV programme on Wednesday, Moshood said the force had no hand in the incident.

In the early hours of Tuesday, some police vehicles and officers were seen stationed at the entrance of the senate president’s residence in Abuja.

Footage which emerged online also suggested that the officers were trying to block his convoy from leaving the area, although Saraki later made it to the national assembly.

The incident generated widespread criticisms of the force, with some Nigerians describing it as a “clampdown on the nation’s democracy”.

But speaking on the programme, Moshood said there was no official command for a deployment of police officers to the senate president’s house.

“We have the responsibility to protect him so we can’t block him. If we were expecting him at 8am, why should we block him?” he said.

He said over 140 security personnel of the police are attached to the national assembly “and about 40 are attached to the senate president, including other units”.

“So what happened yesterday was not a blockade by the security personnel from the force. The personnel seen in the footage are those attached (to) the convoy of the senate president and to his residence. Those you see are those attached to him,” Moshood said.

“The IGP has directed an investigation into the incident. The ADC has been invited, he should be with the principal all the time. So if he is not aware of the whereabouts, we want to know why. Why should we go and block an empty house?

“The video footage was circulated in the media to embarrass us. These are leaders of the legislature who we have the responsibility to protect. So we should allow the investigation to be completed before we give you the outcome of investigation.”

Saraki is being investigated for his alleged connection with suspects arrested over the Offa bank robbery incident in Kwara.