Miss­ing Gen­eral: Reps di­vided over army’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Oz­ibo Oz­ibo

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.

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