House of reps reject reps from Service Chiefs after summon


The House of Representatives has summoned Nigeria’s service chiefs to appear before the house in its plenary session.

The service chiefs invited include, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Taoreed Lagbaja, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, and the Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun.

The invitation came on the heels  a sectorial debate on Order 17, Rules 1(3) of the Standing Orders of the House.

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The Service Chiefs were billed to meet the lawmakers and extensively discuss the nation’s security situation and its current status.

in a twist, all the service chiefs and the IGP had sent representatives instead, however, the legislators rejected the move.

While a motion was moved by The House Leader, Professor Julius Ihonvbere, seeking to allow the representatives speak, Aliyu Sani Madaki and another lawmaker countered the motion.

The Deputy Speaker, Benjamin Kalu, while also objecting the motion said although the representatives are qualified to speak, they will not be allowed to and insisted that the service chiefs appear themselves.

Kalu said:

, “Mr Speaker, I want to move, that Chief Executives, be it private sector or public sector, they must come in person. I want to pray that we don’t break this sacred tradition of our House less we be taken for granted.”

“I therefore move that this sectoral engagement be suspended until the leaders of the agencies that we invited who are our friends, who are working for Nigeria, people we are proud of, come. They should come to address us, take our questions and explain certain things to us.”

After the Deputy Speaker’s motion was seconded by Nnolim Nnaji, the Speaker, Abbas Tajuddeen, put the motion to a voice vote and was adopted by the House.

In the words of Tajudeen:

Our dear brothers, you have heard from the House in an emphatic manner, that this House does not encourage, does not accept representation particularly at this high-level engagement.
“We thank you for coming. Please convey our message to your service chiefs, that we understand the tight schedules they have and we are willing to make an adjustment to reschedule this engagement to Tuesday next week for them to appear in persons.”

With respect to this development, the house of reps have scheduled the meeting and hearing for a later date.


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