Lawmaker representing Kano North Senatorial district, Jibrin Barau, has denied the report that the Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, seized 13 vehicles from his residence as well as sealed the premises.
He was reacting to comments credited to Bala Dole, a zonal commander of customs task force on Monday.
Dole had said: “Based on the intelligence report, the vehicles were 30 in number but we were able to trail 13 of them 12 of which were hidden in the senator’s compound.
“We sealed the house and retrieved the vehicles and they are now in our custody.”
The customs officer, however, refused to mention the name of the Senator.
But speaking during Senate plenary on Tuesday, Barau said it was worrisome that some media outlets had linked him to the said seizure.
The lawmaker said: “I received a text message from a reporter, through the text message he explained that I needed to call him because there was an urgent matter. I did not spend up to a minute before calling him.
“I called thrice, but he refused to pick my call, so I called another reporter attached to national assembly, he also did not pick my call.
“When I woke up this morning I saw the headline that 13 Hillux vehicles, of which duty has not been paid were found in my residence, and that my house was sealed. This never happened.
“I was with my constituents, we were all in my house, and no Hillux vehicle was in my house. This is terrible; this is bad for democracy,” Barau lamented.
He said that all the arms of government and even the conventional media must come together to curb the menace of false news.
“We need everyone to come on board, the executive, the legislature and judiciary – even the fourth estate of the realm, so that we can find solution to the problem we find ourselves.
“I’m wondering why this is coming at this time. This is very sad and I call on the senate to wade into this matter through the ethics and privileges committee,” he said.
The Senate President Bukola Saraki referred the matter to the committee on ethics and privileges.
Officials of the customs did not name a particular senator in whose house the vehicles were seized but there are three legislators from Kano State in the Nigerian Senate, including former state governor Rabiu Kwankwaso – Kano Central, and Kabiru Gaya – Kano South.