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Umar Kabir, clerk of the senate committee on special duties, walked out some reporters from a budget defence session on Friday.

The reporters had gone to a hearing room where the budget defence of North-East Development Commission and National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and IDPs but Kabir said they could not be at the session.

This is despite an invitation that had already been extended to the press corps by Yusuf Yusuf, chairman of the committee.

Shortly before the session commenced, the clerk asked journalists present at the hearing room to introduce themselves.

Kabir said they did not want online media — who were there with other print journalists – because they are not regulated and backed up by law.

“Are you conventional media? Please leave. We don’t want online media here,” he said.

“Because online media organisations are not regulated and we don’t want them here because they are not backed by law. No online media is regulated.

“I have already told your colleagues who had been here before you that you guys are not wanted here. I have the directive of the chairman to do what I’m doing.”

When asked if he does not mind he would be quoted, he said: “Go ahead, I don’t care what you write.”

Since the budget defence commenced, a number of committees have held the exercise behind closed doors.

Chapter 8 (102) of the senate standing rules says all public hearing should be public except in matters that has to do with national security.






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