The Presidency has said that law enforcement agencies are expected to and should be allowed to do their jobs without interference from anyone, not even the President.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said that while ordinary citizens could be called up to answer questions or be interrogated, the idea that the same should not apply to a VIP should be dismissed.
The Presidency was reacting to what it described as “the orchestrated campaign against President Muhammadu Buhari each time a Very Important Person (VIP) is invited by the law enforcement agencies”.
“The law of the land is intended for all, not for the poor or those at the lowest rung of the social ladder,” the statement read in part.
Warning against a situation where “the VIP cannot be questioned without the annoying insinuations of partisanship, persecution or outright politicisation”, the President urged all Nigerians to respect due process.
“Accused persons should approach the courts to plead their innocence rather than going to the public to plead persecution,” Shehu said.
“The country is better served when the law enforcement agencies are allowed to do their work and we must stop the actors of this dangerous game of politicizing law enforcement.”
The statement comes amid fresh friction between the National Assembly and security agencies.
On Monday, the police had invited Senate President Bukola Saraki and on Tuesday morning both the Senate President and his deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, said security operatives laid siege to their houses.
They both accused the security agencies involved of politicising their investigations.
It is not the first time law enforcement agencies in the country have been accused of bias and partisanship in recent months, but the presidency ruled out the possibility that it would influence them.
Mr Shehu said, “If they worked at the discretion of past presidents, who decided who to question and who to detain, Nigerians should get used to the fact that this President is different. President Buhari does not and will not influence or interfere with cases.
“The constitution clearly directs law enforcement agencies to promptly report and investigate any actual or potential infringement of the law and also initiate proceedings against all those involved.
“This President is not the one who directs them on what to do.
“President Buhari does not stand in the way of law enforcement either. Under our Constitution, he has no powers to stop the investigation of anyone or institution.”
The Presidency warned that a situation where certain cases are viewed politically is capable of limiting the development of the country.
“This country cannot achieve development in peace when important cases are viewed through a political prism and the law is considered as being applicable to some, and not applicable to others,” Mr Shehu said.