The police raid on the Abuja residence of the chairman of the Senate appropriations committee, Danjuma Goje, may be part of proceedings when the Senate resumes plenary on Tuesday.
During the raid, Thursday evening, police officers from the Force Headquarters took away N18 million, $19,000 and 4,000 Riyal from the residence of Mr. Goje located at Asokoro, one of the Abuja enclaves of the Nigeria’s rich and powerful of the.
Apart from the cash, an aide to the lawmaker said the police also carted away “18 files containing details of the budget estimates”.
Following the police action, three senators told the Senate would deliberate on the development when the lawmakers reconvene on Tuesday.
Apart from the senators who preferred anonymity, a source close to Mr. Goje, a former governor of Gombe State, told this newspaper Senate President Bukola Saraki had asked his embattled colleague not to address journalists or make any public statement in respect of the raid as it is expected to be a Senate concern.
Senate spokesperson, Aliyu Abdullahi, could not be reached for comment.
When contacted Friday night, police spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, declined to speak in detail about the raid, saying further investigation had commenced.
“Investigation is currently ongoing,” Mr. Moshood, a chief superintendent of police called on telephone.
“After the raid, the police still needed to do further investigation.”
“Upon completion, the findings of the police will be made public,” the spokesperson said.
Mr. Goje’s aide had not received any communication from the police on what the raid was about.
However, a security source said the operatives were from the Monitoring Unit of the Inspector General of Police, and were on a mission to recover funds believed to be hidden in the building.
PREMIUM TIMES confirmed from top police officers on Friday that the directive for the raid was from the police headquarters.
A police source said the team that carried out the raid commenced investigation shortly thereafter, adding that a preliminary report might be ready by Monday. No such report has been made public by the police.
Depending on how the Senate handles it, the raid on Mr. Goje’s residence may have implications for the executive-legislature relationship.
The Federal Executive Council recently constituted a committee headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to discuss with the National Assembly leadership so as to resolve the frosty relationship between both arms of government.
But more importantly, the fears are there that the development could delay the passage of the 2017 budget proposal which is currently being worked on by Mr. Goje’s appropriations committee, if claims by his aides that files pertaining to the budget were carted away are valid.
The current 2016 budget, based on the provision of the 2016 Appropriations Act, expires May 5, 2017, before which the National Assembly had pledged to pass the 2017 budget.