Adedayo Akinwale ín Abuja
The House of Representatives has reluctantly agreed to carry out investigation on the security breaches and violence that characterised the November 16, 2019 elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states.
The Speaker of the House, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, however warned that the report from the findings should not make reference to any political parties involved in the elections if the report is to be considered by the House, saying such reference could be used for or against the parties involved in the court.
He stated: “If you allow me, I have an amendment from here too. The rules are hereby suspended for me to move my amendment; I have suspended the rules to make my amendment.
“In the spirit of fairness, so that no sides or parties is prejudiced by this – I don’t even know if this motion will be carried, I have no idea – in the event that it is carried, there shall be no reference to any political party in the report, whether PDP is guilty, whether APC is guilty or whether SDP is guilty, there shall be no…just the facts of what happened without reference to any political party, so that such is not used against PDP or APC in court. We will allow the courts to do their work. So, if the report contains reference to any party, that report will not be considered on the floor of this House.”
The Houses decision was sequel to the adoption of a motion moved by the Deputy Minority Leader, Hon. Toby Okechukwu, following the widespread violence witnessed during the November 16, 2019 elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states which recorded about a dozen deaths.
In his lead debate, Okechukwu recalled the alleged claims by top officers of the Nigeria Police Force that the Police had prior intelligence that the elections would be violent and that fake officers were responsible for the said violence.
He recalled that 66,241 police personnel were deployed for the elections comprising 35,200 to Kogi and 31,041 to Bayelsa, respectively, as confirmed by the Deputy Inspector General of Police, AbdulMajid Ali in charge of Operations on November 14, 2019.
The lawmaker however expressed concern that in spite of such massive deployment of security personnel, coupled with the intelligence reports, the elections witnessed such degree of violence resulting in the death of one Mrs. Salome Abuh.