The Senate, yesterday, invited the service chiefs and the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, to appear before it today for a briefing on the security situation in the three states where state of emergency was imposed, before commencing debates on the President’s extension request.
Also to appear before the Senate are the National Security Adviser, Minister of Defence and the Minister of Police Affairs.
While postponing debate on the motion, the Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma Egba, who was to move the motion for the extension of the emergency rule urged members to allow the item be stepped down until another legislative session.
Gazette before debate
Senator Ndoma Egba stated that the aspect of the constitution dealing with emergency rule had not been gazetted and that the Senate was yet to review the success or otherwise of the emergency rule which had been in place since May last year.
He said: “The proclamation by the requirements of the constitution is supposed to be gazetted. We must circulate the gazette before we can debate it. Secondly, it has been the tradition of this Senate that before debates, we appraise and access the performance of the state of emergency.
“So I will move that this distinguished Senate do invite the Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Naval Staff, Chief of Air Staff, Inspector-General of Police and the Director General of the Department of State Services, DSS, to brief this Senate at 10a.m. today in a close session to enable us to commence debate on the President request.”
Senator James Manager seconded the motion and added that the National Security Adviser, Minister of Defence and Minister of Police Affairs be also invited.
The Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the session, described the motion as very serious, adding “I, therefore, appeal that in accordance with the motion moved by the Senate Leader, we should step it down till another legislative day.”
Reps defer voting until…
The House of Representatives also deferred voting on the extension till today to enable all the service chiefs brief them on the security challenges in the troubled states.
The Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, who presided, made the announcement at the plenary after contributions by some members, said the service chiefs would brief the House before the commencement of voting today.
Leading the debate, the Majority Leader, Mulikat Akande Adeola (PDP Oyo), said the House on November 20, 2013, considered and approved the extension of emergency in the three states.
She said according to the provisions of Section 305 (6) (c) of the Constitution, as amended, would elapse after a period of six months from the date of approval, except the period is extended by the National Assembly.
The Section states: “Provided that the National Assembly may, before the expiration of the period of six months aforesaid, extend the period for the proclamation of the state of emergency to remain in force from time to time for a further period of six months by resolution in the like manner.”
More than 20 lawmakers spoke in support of the extension, withe six against.
Leader of the Borno caucus in the House, Mohammed Monguno (APC), who was first to contribute, said the Borno caucus was in support of the extension.
Kaka Gujbawu (PDP, Borno), said the emergency rule should be extended so insecurity could be tackled.
Titsi Ganama (PDP, Adamawa), Ali Yakubu (PDP, Yobe) and Toby Okechukwu (PDP, Enugu) are some of the lawmakers who spoke in support of the extension.