Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja
Rather than allow the Nigerian Army to lead the investigation to unravel the whereabouts of the missing immediate past Chief of Administration of the Nigeria Army, Major General Idris Alkali (rtd), the federal government has been urged to make the Nigeria Police and Directorate of State Security (DSS) lead the search.
The duo of Hon. Edward Gyang Pwajok (SAN) representing Jos South/East and Hon. Istifanus Dung Gyang representing Barkin Ladi/Riyom, in a co-sponsored motion of urgent public importance yesterday, lamented that activities of soldiers searching for their missing colleagues have been creating tension and fears in communities in Jos South Local Government Area making citizens flee their house due to threat of brutalisation.
The Joint Task Force constituted by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, for the search and rescue operation of Alkali had recovered his vehicle with registration number MUN 670 AA, in an old mining pond in Lafendeg, Du district of Jos South Local Government Area.
But arguing that there is need for security forces and government to act within the law and respect the fundamental human rights of citizens, the two lawmakers, who drew inference from sections 214 and 217 of the constitution, section 1 of the Armed Forces Act CAP 20 LFN (2004) and section 4 of the Police Act, noted that the army has no power to investigate alleged crimes committed by civilians.
While disagreeing with criminal elements in Plateau State, particularly in the northern zone who have allegedly been responsible for killings and disappearance of many citizens, the lawmakers stated: “We urge the federal government to use the security forces saddled by the constitutional responsibility with the powers of investigation of missing persons in communities, specifically the police and the DSS to investigate professionally and respect the rule of law and human rights.”