Peace Corps Frets over Buhari’s Delay to Assent Establishment Bill


• House c’ttee orders police to vacate corps’ premises
James Emejo in Abuja
There is palpable fear among members of the Peace Corps of Nigeria following the continued delay by President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the establishment bill for the corps into law, months after both chambers of the National Assembly passed the legislation into law.

THISDAY gathered that the worry among anxious members of the corps who had since been mobilised and attending period parades in the hope of the passage of the bill by the president followed suspicios that the bill may have been politicised to be used as bargaining chip towards the 2019 general elections.

THISDAY reliably gathered from insider sources that newly mobilised officials are tasked to pay a minimum of N10,000 by the corps which is expected to be used to lobby the quick passage of the bill-at least in the life of the current administration.

Meanwhile, House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions yesterday directed the police to vacate the Abuja headquarters of the Corps which had been sealed since February 2017.
It equally summoned the Inspector General of Police (IG), Ibrahim Idris and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami to appear before it within seven days.

The directive was issued by the Chairman of the committee, Hon. Nkem Abonta (PDP, Abia) at a public hearing after deliberating on a petition by the Coalition of Civil Society Organisations for Justice and Equity to the lower chamber.

The group had petitioned the House, accusing Idris of disobeying subsisting court orders in favour of the Peace Corps.
Abonta had queried the police asking if they were not supposed to protect the court and justice system?
He said: “Is the police above the law? Apart from court orders on this, the attorney general has written to you and you still haven’t obeyed.

“This is wickedness for not obeying court orders. We shall be leading Peace Corps into possession of its headquarters.”
At the hearing, the Peace Corps boss, Dickson Akoh, had told the committee that there were 11 court cases in favour of Peace Corps including correspondences from the AGF advising the police to honour court injunctions.

However, Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of legal affairs, Mr. Henry Njoku, who appeared for the police said, it had launched an appeal against the various judgments cited, though the lawmakers saw his claim as irrelevant in view of the pending pronouncements by the courts.