Saraki warns 'ugly' raid on South South leader's house threatens Nigeria's democracy

He warned that such an action cannot escape scrutiny as being politically-motivated.

Four officers had carried out a raid on Clark's house on Tuesday, September 4, 2018, allegedly based on a tipoff that he was stockpiling weapons. The search yielded no discovery to prove the allegation and attracted widespread condemnation from Nigerians.

In a statement signed by Saraki's Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, on Wednesday, September 5, he said the raid was "a gross abuse of state institution" as it wasn't properly conducted.

He warned that such an action cannot escape scrutiny as being politically-motivated ahead of the upcoming 2019 general elections, especially since Clark is a vocal critic of the government.

The statement read, "The unwarranted harassment of Chief Edwin Clark, who is known for being very vocal in expressing his views on national issues, at a time when the nation is preparing for elections does not reflect well on the country. Such actions constitute a threat to democracy.

"Chief Clark, who is also a Second Republic Senator and former minister under the General Gowon administration is not above the law. If there is a genuine reason for his home to be searched by law enforcement agencies, nobody will object to it.

"However, as it appears now, for the Police to conduct a raid on the home of a man of that age on the pretence that they were looking for arms and eventually - the claim turned out to be a hoax - means that something is amiss. These actions represent a gross abuse of state institutions.

"Now that the Inspector General of Police has denied that the raid was never authorized, the next move should be a thorough, transparent investigation into the Senator Edwin Clark incident to prevent future reoccurrences.

"These kinds of ugly developments must stop. This country experienced a peaceful change in 2015 because the government in power allowed democracy to work. If the government had allowed the flagrant abuse and misuse of state institutions to be the norm, we would not have had the change that occurred.

"Democracy is not only about elections. Circumstances that will create tension in any part of the country or make people feel that their fundamental human rights are being trampled upon should be avoided.

"If a man of the caliber and status of Senator Edwin Clark can suffer such an unwarranted raid on his home, then what will happen to ordinary Nigerians as we move towards the 2019 polls and beyond?"

IGP apologises to Clark over raid

The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has sent a high-level delegation to Clark to apologise for the raid which he claims was unauthorised.

In a statement earlier signed by Force spokesperson, Jimoh Moshood, on Wednesday, he disclosed that the delegation comprised of the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (Operations), Joshiak Habila, and some Commissioners of Police.

The IGP has also ordered the detention and investigation of the four police officers who carried out the raid as well as the immediate presentation of the informant to the media before his prosecution.

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