A police investigative team on Wednesday allegedly ransacked the Asokoro (Abuja) home of Kogi State Governor, Ibrahim Idris, arresting five mobile policemen guarding the residence and recovering some substance they found to be cocaine.

The search followed a petition the police received about the alleged illegal printing of fake American dollars in the house, a top police officer at the Louis Edet House, headquarters of the Nigeria Police, confided in Sunday Independent, hours after the arrest were made.

The operation was led by a ranking police officer from the Force Headquarters, Abuja last week, but tongues are waging as to the readiness of the authorities to continue with investigation into the matter because of the interest involved.

For instance, the Force Public Relations Officer, Emmanuel Ojukwu, an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP)has denied knowledge of the event.

“I don’t have any information on that,” Ojukwu retorted in a telephone conversation when Sunday Independent asked him to confirm the raid believed to have been carried out on the orders of police hierarchy.

Richard Elesho, Chief Press Secretary to Idris, confirmed the raid on his boss’ Asokoro residence, but flatly rejected claims that cocaine or anything incriminating was found there. He insisted, instead, that the police team later apologised to Idris after their search produced nothing criminal.

In what suggested an attempt to read political meanings into the imbroglio, Elesho said the governor is aware of the source of the allegations but stopped short of blaming those angling to upstage Idris from Kogi Government House next year for what he considers a campaign of calumny.

“There is an element of truth in what you heard. I can confirm to you that some policemen went to the governor’s private house in Asokoro, claiming to have some information that the governor has some money in his private house,” Elesho said in a telephone conversation with Sunday Independent on Friday, in response to a text message seeking the governor’s position on the matter.

“The governor was in the Governor’s Lodge when the information reached him, and as a transparent leader that he is, he sought to know what the source of their information is. He told them he does not have such money in his private house, and since they were already there in his house he encouraged them to do a thorough check. He gave them the key to his house with his security details. They went there and found out that what they heard was a lie.

“They came back and apologised to the governor. They were particularly amazed by his level of humility and transparency, because not many governors will subject themselves to such rigorous search. They, of course, apologised to him. That is why I said there is element of truth in what you heard. But it is not true at all that they found cocaine or anything incriminating in the house.

“We are also aware of the source of that false information to the police. I also want to advise that you should find out from the Police headquarters what actually happened. No money, no cocaine or anything unlawful was found in the house.”

The operation was led by one Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) Umar, according to the source who sought anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the case and high-wire pressure on the police hierarchy to sweep the matter under the carpet.

“The decision to search the house followed a petition we received that there was illegal printing of U.S. dollars in the house. Police went there and discovered that the house in Asokoro actually belonged to Kogi State Governor,” the source said.

“So a team of police officers led by AIG Umar embarked on the search efforts. To their chagrin, there were five mobile policemen guarding the house, each armed to the teeth, and all of them had been posted there from the Kogi State Police Command, rather than from the FCT Command. The team arrested the policemen and also recovered some substance later found to be cocaine from the house. They were detained at the Force CID, Abuja.”

The source later told Sunday Independent that the policemen have now been released following intense pressure on the police hierarchy to release them as well as bury the case.

“As I speak with you now, the mobile policemen have been released following pressure to bury the case. I doubt if anybody will confirm the story to you, but this is the hard fact. You are free to check the facts with the authorities,” he added.

The alleged cocaine discovery confirmed the now suppressed claim by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) that top politicians, including governors, are neck deep in drug trafficking and are major stumbling blocks in the multibillion naira campaign against it.

Last month, the agency intercepted 450 kilos of cocaine worth more than N4billion at the Tin Can Port, Lagos, another scandal in which top politicians were fingered.

That came with panic at the Nigeria Customs Service about imminent shake-up of its management over their alleged complicity in the facilitation of the clearance of the imported contraband, before men of the NDLEA busted the cocaine syndicate.