Reps quiz NDLEA over alleged raid on Patience Jonathan’s home
The House of Representatives Committee on Public Petition yesterday quizzed officials of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) over alleged raids on the home and official premises of wife of former President Patience Jonathan.
In a petition signed by Mrs. Jonathan’s lawyers, Sammie Somiari, Charles Ogboli and others, the former President’s wife had accused the drug agency of conniving with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the police to carry out repeated searches on her private and official homes, as well as business places without warrants.
The NDLEA represented by a director in the agency, Femi Oloruntoba told the lawmakers that his agency got a tip-off from an unnamed source to the effect that the property located at Igbeti Rock Street, Maitama, Abuja was being used for drug related activities.
He said: “Based on the information, eight officers of my agency visited the premises, after surveillance was conducted on the premises. It is not true that 50 officers from my agency visited the premises.”
He said the officer who met two occupants of the premises provided them with a search endorsement form, which they endorsed indicating that the search was conducted without any damage to the property or any loss of items.
Asked on how the agency remedies a situation where it breaks into a premises as alleged and did not find any exhibit, having inflicted structural damages on the property, he said the agency never knew that the premises belonged to the former first lady, adding that a letter was written by a solicitor on behalf of a man who claimed to be the owner of the premises.
The committee therefore demanded that the NDLEA provides it with the identity of the said source before the next adjourned date.No official of the EFCC, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Nigerian Police turned up at the hearing, even as the committee claimed to have invited the agencies for the event.
The Committee has asked them to appear before the committee to defend themselves on September 19 this year when hearing would reopen on the matter.The House yesterday turned down the consideration of the 2017 budgetary proposals of the National Health Insurance scheme (NHIS) and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
Chairman of the House Committee on Healthcare Services, Mr. Chike Okafor explained that the NHIS budgetary proposal will not be considered until the Health Minister, Prof Isaac Adewole clear the air on the rationale for the suspension of the NHIS Executive Secretary, Prof Yusuf Usman.
The lawmakers also turned back Mrs. Yetunde Oni and her subordinates who appeared before the committee to present the NAFDAC 2017 budgetary proposal after demanding for the details of the nominal roll of the agency in order to ascertain if the employment policy of the agency was in tandem with national character.
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