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APC primary: Reps demand immediate release of detained federal lawmaker

by KEHINDE AKINTOLA, Abuja

October 10, 2018 | 6:10 pm
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The House of Representatives on Wednesday called for immediate release of Abubakar Lado, member representing Suleja/Gurara federal constituency of Niger State who was arrested and detained by Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) operatives headquarters, Abuja.
According to the lawmakers, Lado was allegedly arrested and detained for three days on the directive of the State Governor during the APC party primaries held in Suleja last week.
To this end, the House resolved to summon Ibrahim Idris, Inspector General of Police to appear before the House on Thursday, if Nigeria Police refuse to release the detained lawmaker by Wesnesday midnight.
The House also pledged to support the lawmaker if he decides to take legal action against Niger State Governor and Nigeria Police.
Other lawmakers who spoke in favour of the motion, include Nkiruka Onyejeocha, Edward Pwajok, Betty Apiafi, among others.
While leading debate on the motion, Toby Okechukwu (PDP-Enugu), condemned the unlawful detention of the federal lawmaker during the APC party primary.
According to him, the federal lawmaker has been detained for three days by operatives of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), on the instruction of the State Governor.
“The House is further aware of his continued detention for the past three days which action offends the  Nigerian constitution and amount to inhuman and degrading treatment.
“The House is embarrassed that the intervention of the House leadership was rebuffed by the Nigerian Police ostensibly because it is only the Governor of Niger State that can give instruction for his release.
“The House is further briefed that the detention arose out of issues related to the APC primaries which he had abinitio notified the Police authorities of efforts to cause crisis by his opponents.
“The House is aware that the invitation of Hon. Lado was not done through due process and therefore breaches the legislative powers and privileges Act – which requires notifying of presiding officer before any member is invited or arrested,” he said.
On her part, Nnena Elendu-Ukeje (PDP-Abia) argued that the highest level of corruption is denial of justice, such as being meted against the federal lawmaker.
She observed that the detention of the serving lawmaker was in breach of the Constitution and other extant legislations enacted.
According to her, the privileges accorded a serving member of the House by the Privileges Act was breached.
In his presentation, Ossai Nicholas Ossai (PDP-Delta) noted that the srest and detention of the lawmaker was in breach of all known laws.
Ossai who chairs House Committee on Ethics and Privileges maintained that the privileges of the federal lawmaker has been breached, adding that the House should make the law of the land to work.
He also canvassed that the House should sanction Nigeria Police when the 2019 budget consideration begins, adding that the action of the Police prevented the detained lawmaker from exercising his fundamental human right of vying for return ticket in the just concluded APC party primary election.
Also speaking, Simon Arabo (PDP-Kaduna) noted that detention of the federal lawmaker in Abuja was done with ill-fate, hence the resolve to detain him outside the jurisdiction where the alleged crisis happened.
While giving update on the incident, Wale Raji (APC-Lagos) who visited the detained lawmaker in the Police custody alleged that the lawmaker was not treated with dignity.
He also urged the House to conduct of special investigation into the activities of SARS which was directed by the Inspector General of Police to desist from unlawful arrest of innocent Nigerians in response to public outcry.
Other lawmakers condemned the unabated attack of members of the National Assembly by the executive arm of government.
In his remarks, Fred Agbedi (PDP-Bayelsa) alleged that the unlawful arrest of the lawmaker suggests that the sponsored candidate of the Governor has been defeated at the party primary, hence the resolve to clamp down on the lawmaker.
On his part, Femi Gbajabiamila, Majority Leader who also condemned the action of the Nigeria Police noted that the delegation met the Inspector General of Police, adding that the breach of constitutional rights of several lawmakers have been violated by Nigeria Police at various times.
He maintained that the rights of the electorates where the detained lawmaker represents were breached, on the pretext that two people were fighting.
KEHINDE AKINTOLA, Abuja
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by KEHINDE AKINTOLA, Abuja

October 10, 2018 | 6:10 pm
  |     |     |   Start Conversation

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