IG restores Tambuwal’s police escorts

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Aminu TambuwalThe Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal, now has full security protection provided by the police and the Department of State Service protection.

The Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Suleiman Abba, following last Wednesday’s deployment of DSS operatives to guard the Speaker, has also restored Tambuwal’s police escorts.

The PUNCH learnt on Wednesday that the policemen resumed duties at Tambuwal’s Abuja residence on Friday last week, two days after the DSS also restored its operatives.

Tambuwal’s Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Imam Imam, in a statement on Wednesday, confirmed the restoration of his principal’s security aides.

The statement thanked all Nigerians and groups that showed concern over the withdrawal of the Speaker’s police escorts and DSS operatives.

Part of the statement read, “The policemen attached to the Speaker resumed duties few days after men of the Department of State Service returned to their duty posts.

“As we have always maintained, it is the duty of the state to provide special security for certain public office holders, of which the Speaker of the House of Representatives is one.

“We thank all Nigerians who voiced their opinion on the withdrawal, and the subsequent reinstatement of the security personnel.

“No further comment will be made on this issue.”

Before Imam’s statement, our correspondent had learnt that the Speaker had travelled out of Abuja by the time the escorts arrived at his residence.

“You know, the DSS men came on Wednesday; that was why they accompanied the Speaker to work on Thursday (next day).

“After the sitting of the House ended, he left Abuja for Zamfara State to attend a function.

“By Friday when the policemen resumed for work, Tambuwal was not available in Abuja,” a National Assembly official told our correspondent.

Imam had also earlier told our correspondent that policemen were ‘sighted’ at the Speaker’s house in Sokoto.

“Yes, some policemen have been sighted in Sokoto. We are not in Abuja right now.

“They have been at the Speaker’s residence. That is the much I can tell you,” Imam had stated before he issued his statement later in the day.

Asked whether he was aware that Tambuwal’s escorts resumed work in Abuja, Imam replied that he “heard” but that his boss was yet to meet with the men because he had been out of the Federal Capital City since Friday.

The police and the DSS had six months ago, precisely on October 28, 2014, withdrawn their men from Tambuwal following the Speaker’s defection to the All Progressives Congress from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party.

Tambuwal, who later emerged as the APC’s governorship candidate in Sokoto State, remained without official security protection until the latest turn of events.

Although, he had challenged the action of the police in court, the matter is still pending.

It is still unclear what informed the U-turn made by the police and the DSS just days to the March 28 poll.

In the absence of police protection, the Speaker was often seen moving around the country in company with his personal aides and some lawmakers.

At his residences, men of the National Sergeant-at-Arms and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps provided security.

The IG, in defending the withdrawal of his men, had interpreted the defection of Tambuwal as a breach of Section 68 (1) (g) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

He had argued that the PDP not being in divisions, the Speaker lost his seat and position by defecting to the APC.

Abba had said that Tambuwal’s defection meant that he was no longer entitled to police protection.

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