- Calls for removal of military checkpoints in South-east
Deji Elumoye in Abuja
The Senate thursday condemned the killing of a member of the National Youth Service Corps (NSYC) and nine policemen in three different locations in Abuja this week and demanded that the killers be brought to book.
Seven policemen were hacked down at a checkpoint at Galadimawa by suspected armed robbers and two others killed at Abaji, while the lady corps member was killed by a policeman at Central Area, all in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Speaking at plenary, Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, described as unfortunate, the killing of the policemen who were trying all within their powers to protect lives and property.
While commiserating with the families of the deceased, he enjoined the police authorities to ensure that the perpetrators of the dastardly act are arrested and made to face the full wrath of the law.
He also directed the Senate Committee on Police Affairs headed by Senator Abu Ibrahim, to find out what really happened and advise the Senate accordingly on what to do on the issue.
Speaking under Orders 42 and 52, Senator Atai Idoko (Kogi East), drew the attention of the Senate to the recent killing of a corps members, Miss Angela Igwetu, by a trigger-happy policeman.
He said the hospital the slain corps member, who was shot in Abuja, was taken to denied he medical attention at a hospital because she did not provide a police report.
Idoko expressed worry at the rate hospitals turn back patients with gunshot wounds â€œdespite the fact that the National Assembly passed a bill mandating hospitals to treat patients with gun shot wounds and assented to by President Buhari late last year.â€
He, therefore, moved a motion requesting the Senate to observe one-minute silence and also mandate the committee on youth and sports to investigate the killing and report back to Senate.
Seconding the motion, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa (Abia North), said the lady who was killed by a trigger-happy policeman few days to her passing out from the mandatory one-year NYSC programme must be properly investigated.
The Senate thereafter observed a minute silence for the deceased corper and directed itâ€™s Committee on youth, sports and health to investigate the killing and report back to Senate in two weeks.
Ohuabunwa had earlier under matter of urgent national importance expressed concern about the high number of police and army road blocks on major highways in the South East.
He cited the heavy presence of soldiers and policemen at various checkpoints along Enugu- Portharcourt road, Aba-Owerri road and Onitsha- Owerri road and moved a motion asking Senate to call for the reduction or dismantling of the checkpoints as they affect free movement of people and goods in the zone.
Seconding the motion, Senator Victor Umeh(Anambra Central), also wondered why the heavy presence of military and police personnel on the highways in the South-east â€œ â€œwhen there is no threat to security in that areaâ€.
The Senate thereafter urged both the police and army to quickly reduce or dismantle the heavy road blocks on South-east roads so as to facilitate free movement goods and people.
It also advised police and army to always seek to balance the imperatives of national security and the economic interests of citizens in the monitoring of the environment especially where there are no evident security breaches.
The Senate further directed itâ€™s Committees on police and army to take a tour of the South-east roads and investigate the matter and report back to the Senate.