Ekweremadu’s house raid: Court remands whistle-blower in prison

By Vivian Okejeme

A Federal Capital Territory High Court, Gudu, yesterday, ordered that a false whistle-blower, Ahmed Echodo, be remanded to Keffi prison in connection with the recent raid on the official Guest House of the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu in Maitama, Abuja.

Men of the Nigeria Police Force were said to have, on May 27, this year, stormed and searched the building after which they took the steward, Mr. Oliver Ogenyi, whom they met in the premises to the Inspector-General of Police Special Square office in Guzape District, Abuja.
He was later released.
Ekweremadu had raised the alarm at the Senate plenary on May 3, 2017, when he referred his colleagues to anonymous letter to him alleging that there was a plan by the EFCC to raid buildings associated with him and plant incriminating items in it under the cover of whistle blower policy.

He also alleged that the proposed raid was to ensure his arrest, detention and indictment, with the aim of cut short his political career.
Ekweremadu alleged that the mission to move against him was being sponsored by a cabal in the Presidency.
But polices said they were not involved in the raid.
The police spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, had denied reports that the police raided the guest house, and that the Force had nothing to do with the operation.
“I have inquired from all our investigation units and they all said they did not know about the operation, they did not carry out the raid, so we are not involved in the raid on the guest house,” he said.

However yesterday, the force admitted that it was misled by Ahmed Echodo and Maiwa Adamu (now at large) in carrying out the operation.
The offence is said to be contrary to Section 97(1) and 140 of the Penal Code Law.
When asked by the judge whether or not he understood the information against him, Echodo challenged the police to produce either a written or oral information he made to them that they claimed to be false information.
“They (police) have not shown me how the information was passed to them by me. Was it oral or written? When they went to the house with Wada, (now at large), I was not there,” he said.

Shortly after he pleaded not guilty, the prosecution counsel, David Taiwo, asked for an adjournment to enable him to open his case against the defendant.
Counsel to the defendant, Peters Ugwuoke, urged the court to release him on bail pending trial.
He submitted that his client had reasonable sureties “who are ready to stand for him, will not jump bail and interfere with investigation or trial.”
The trial Judge, Umar Kagarko, directed that the defendant be remanded in prison custody pending the ruling of his application on June 5, 2017.

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