Primaries: Reps on a collision course with IG over colleague’s detention | Nigerian News. Latest Nigeria News. Your online Nigerian Newspaper. f

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The House of Representatives gave the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, up to midnight of Wednesday (last night) to release its detained member, Mr Abubakar Lado, or risked being summoned to appear before the lawmakers.

The House passed the resolution in Abuja as members protested the detention of Lado in Abuja by the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad.

The Niger State member of the All Progressives Congress was said to have been arrested in Suleja and whisked to Abuja following disagreements over the conduct of the House of Representatives primaries in the state.

Supporters of Lado and another co-contestant reportedly fought, after which the member was taken to Abuja and detained by the F-SARS three days ago.


The other contestant was said to have been set free, while the lawmaker remained in detention on the “orders of the state governor.”

The resolution, passed at the session presided over by the Speaker, Mr Yakubu Dogara, read, “If the F-SARS fails to release Lado before 12midnight, the IG will be summoned to appear before the House.”

The Chairman, House Committee on Works, Mr Toby Okechukwu, had brought Lado’s plight before members under matters of urgent public importance.

Okechukwu narrated how the F-SARS operatives rebuffed efforts made so far by the leadership of the House to secure the release of the member under the guise that only Governor Abubakar Bello could set him free.

“His detention is illegal and a breach of the Legislative Houses (Powers and Privileges) Act.

“The police must release him now since no offence linked to robbery, which is the duty of SARS, has been established against him,” Okechukwu stated.

The Leader of the House, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, narrated how he visited Lado to find out what really led to his arrest and got no concrete information on any criminal act committed by the lawmaker.

He added, “From what we gathered, it was just a case of two people fighting and cars and other property were vandalised. We were told the only person who could order his release was the governor. We asked the police why the other person was not detained and we got no answers.

“That is why an invitation must go to the IG. Let him come and explain to Nigerians why the police detained one person for three days while the other person walks about freely.

“Lado was a contestant in the primaries and we can see that the real plan was to detain him and prevent his participation in the primaries, which he could have emerged as the winner.”

Several other members, including the Chairman, House Committee on Human Rights, Mr Edward Pwajok, chairman, House Committee on Foreign Relations, Ms Nnenna Ukeje, and the chairman, House Committee on Ethics/Privileges, Mr Nicholas Ossai, condemned the detention.

The development came as Dogara told members that he was aware the primaries in some states were marred by “impunity,” a reason he said many members lost their re-election bid.

The Speaker assured the affected members that the House would do all within its powers to ensure that they got fair treatment.

Dogara, who delivered a formal welcome speech to members on resumption after their 11-week annual recess, stated, “Permit me to congratulate all members who have won their primary elections, and to wish those whose elections may still be in process, a favourable conclusion.

“Others are said to have lost their nominations in circumstances which remain contentious, to such, we shall do all within our powers to assist them in the various political parties to get fair opportunity. We have all made tremendous sacrifices and it is only fair that these are rewarded.

“The leadership is aware of the impunity that characterised the conduct of some primaries in which some of our members allegedly lost the ticket to contest in the next election.

“We have done our best to ensure internal democracy within parties but it appears parties prefer to pander to the whims and caprices of some individuals rather than the law.”

As part of efforts by the legislature to strengthen the electoral process, the Speaker said the National Assembly would expeditiously treat the controversial Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2018, which was returned by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Dogara said the National Assembly was aware of plans to frustrate the bill and was ready to counter such plans.

He added, “As we settle down to business, let me reiterate that the INEC supplementary budget bill must be accorded expeditious consideration. Furthermore, the pending issue of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, which was unfortunately vetoed by Mr President, must also be expeditiously considered and passed.

“The new Electoral Act Amendment Bill has provisions that are designed to guarantee free, fair and transparent elections in Nigeria. The amendment bill entrenches the smart card reader and electronic transmission of results, among others.

“Any further attempt to frustrate the passing into law of the bill will be indicative of our desire not to improve on the success of the 2015 general elections, further fuelling the fears that some, including our international partners, have heard about some forces who intend to manipulate the forthcoming elections by exploiting identified loopholes in the Electoral Act currently in force.”

The Speaker also revisited the August invasion of the  National Assembly by the operatives of the Department of State Services and praised Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo for the prompt manner he intervened by sacking the then Director-General of the agency, Mr Lawal Daura.




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