Missing General: Reps divided over army’s investigation
Some members of the House of Representatives were yesterday divided over “indiscriminate arrests of civilians in Plateau communities” by men of the Nigerian army investigating the missing of retired General Idris Alkali.
While some argued that the military engagement in the investigation was contrary to the extant laws of the federation, others insisted that there was nothing wrong if the army decide to search for one of their own who is missing.
The disagreement followed a motion by Edward Pwajork (PDP, Plateau) on the “need for investigation and call for an end to indiscriminate arrests of civilians by the army in Plateau communities.”
Pwajork expressed worry over reports of mass arrests and manhandling of residents of Du and Ray Field areas in Plateau State by the army, contrary to the provisions of extant laws.
Aligning with Pwajok’s line of argument, Istifanus Gyang (PDP, Plateau), called for a due process with the presumption of innocence rather than guilt in the army’s investigation of the missing Alkali. He, however, condemned “the act of singling out a particular group for extermination,” even as the recent escalation of Jos crises has claimed over 450 victims.
However, Ali Madaki (PDP, Kano), countered Pwajok’s motion on the grounds that there is nothing wrong with the army’s investigation.
“How can one move this type of motion? Are you saying the army should stop investigating a crime committed against one of their own?” he queried.
Nasiru Garo (PDP, Kano) also expressed support with the army’s investigation since they remain a security apparatus of the state.
When Speaker Yakubu Dogara put the motion to vote, the members unanimously upheld that the army, as well as other security agencies should be involved in the investigation of the missing Gen. Alkali while also ensuring that the due process of the law is followed.