The Nigeria Police Force has denied claims that it carted away files containing 2017 budget documents during the raid of the Abuja residence of former governor of Gombe State, Danjuma Goje.
This was contained in a statement released early Thursday by the Police Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, denying the allegations against the police by Goje, who is currently a member of the Senate and serves as the Senate committee chairman on appropriation.
During plenary on Wednesday, Goje told his colleagues at the Senate that the police officers who conducted the search took away cash, a laptop and 18 documents on the budget proposal which is still being worked on by the committee.
Following the allegation, the House of Representatives summoned the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris, to return the said documents within 24 hours.
However, in its explanation, Moshood described Goje’s claims as misleading and a calculated attempt to portray the police in bad light.
The police spokesman noted that a search warrant was duly obtained from court of competent jurisdiction before the search was professionally executed at Goje’s house located in the Asokoro District of Abuja.
He added that the search was based on “intelligence report at the disposal of the Force that large sum of money suspected to be stolen public funds and other incriminating items are about to be moved out of the said house.”
The statement read in part: “It is worthy of note that on arrival of the Police team to Senator Danjuma Goje’s house, the house keeper Ango Usman informed the Senator of the presence and mission of the team and he promised coming but later switched off his phone.
“The search warrant was successfully executed in the presence of three (3) close relatives of Senator Danjuma Goje who are residing in the house and the recoveries were made in their presence.
Moshood said items recovered from the house include “money, documents and Laptop”, adding that “none of the items include 2017 budget document.”
He said that the items are “available for inspection by any interested members of the public.”
Among the items listed by the police as recovered from Goje’s house were: “Cash sum of Eighteen Million and Fifty Six Thousand Naira (₦18,056,000), “Cash sum of Nineteen Thousand Eight Hundred and Fifty (19,850 US Dollars), “Cash sum of Nine Thousand Four Hundred (SR9, 400) Saudi Riyal” and other files.
“The Nigeria Police Force wishes to state categorically that there was no single document relating to 2017 budget sighted or removed by the Police team that executed the search warrant.
“There is video recording of the execution of the search warrant,” the statement read.
Moshood further described the reports credited to Goje in some national dailies as “a deliberate distraction to cast aspersion on Police investigation to pervert the end of justice.”
“Members of the public are hereby implored to disregard the report as the search warrant which was professionally executed in the house of Senator Danjuma Goje has nothing to do with 2017 budget,” the police said.