Reps threaten showdown over missing 2017 Appropriation bill report
…as lawmakers narrate ordeal over indiscriminate invasion of residences by EFCC operatives
National Assembly is set for another showdown with the Executive over alleged carting away of the report on the 2017 Appropriation bill from the residence of Senator Danjuma Goje, chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation on the 20th April, 2017.
The lawmakers alleged that the “missing report” was scheduled to be laid before the Senate and House for consideration and passage during the week.
Worried by the development, the House of Representatives during Wednesday plenary, issued a 24-hour ultimatum to Ibrahim Idris, Inspector General of Police to return all the documents relating to the 2017 Appropriation bill carted away from the residence not later than tomorrow, Thursday 27 April 2017 in order to not to jeopardize the passage of the budget.
The resolution was passed sequel to the adoption of the motion on the “Need to check the excesses of security agents with regard to invasion of residences of law abiding citizens,” sponsored by Abubakar Ahmad.
Some of the lawmakers who spoke in favour of the motion include: Leo Ogor, Minority Leader; Yuguda Hassan (APC-Jigawa); Munir Dan’Agundi (APC-Kano), Gabriel Onyenwife (APGA-Anambra); Kingsley Chinda (PDP-Rivers); Toby Okechukwu (PDP-Enugu); Frederick Agbedi (PDP-Bayelsa); Betty Apiafi (PDP-Rivers); Herman Hembe (APC-Benue), Sergius Ogun (PDP-Edo); among others.
The lawmakers who described the action of the EFCC as “unlawful”, maintained that the invasion of the Abuja residence of Senator Goje amounted to a gross violation of his fundamental human rights.
In his lead debate, Ahmad noted that the security agents destroyed doors, bags, ceiling and soakaways and carted away documents, including reports of the 2017 Appropriation bill which was scheduled to be laid before both chambers of the National Assembly during the week.
While condemning the level of impunity being exhibited by the security agencies and disregard for law and due process, he noted that such action portray the Federal Government as lawless to discerning observers and commentators, both at home and abroad.
In his remarks, Yuguda Hassan (APC-Jigawa) who claimed to be a victim of EFCC raiding in his Kano residence during the Andrew Yakubu’s foreign exchange
On his part, Munir Dan’Agundi (APC-Kano), also disclosed that the EFCC operatives invaded the residence of his younger brother following a tip-off under the guise of whistle blower. He added that most of the personal effects were also carted away and safe
According to him, the EFCC operatives gave him 24 hours and carted away a phone tablet and I told them I don’t know Andrew Yakubu
Hassan explained that the EFCC operatives carted away a steel cabinet from his residence before his arrival adding that nothing was found when he eventually I held the key to the cabinet and opened it, “but to my amazement they thought the cabinet contained Andrew Yakubu’s dollars.”
However, Ahmed Musa Soba who argued that it was judgemental to condemn the invasion and to invite the Inspector General of the Police to see to the return of the documents/exhibit recovered by the operatives.
He however called on the House to investigate the allegation before taking any action.
To this end the House while condemning the EFCC action, resolved to set-up an “Ad-hoc Committee to invite the Inspector-General of police to appear before it to explain what warranted the invasion and the laws that backed the Force to carry out such operations and report back in two weeks for further legislative action.”