Senate Rejects Committee’s Report on Benue Killings

The Senate Wednesday rejected report of its committee on Police Affairs and National Security and Intelligence which linked the unabating killings in Benue State to Fulani Herdsmen and Benue militia men.
The upper chamber said that the report is incomplete because it quoted the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris copiously while it did not feature the position of Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom.
The lawmakers agreed with the Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki that the committee should go back and complete its assignment and report back within one week.
The Senate at its sitting on 31st January, 2018 considered a Personal Explanation by Senator Joshua Lidani who drew the attention of the Senate to its resolution on the Ad-hoc Committee on Security visit to Benue State which stated “that the Senate do urge the Inspector General of Police to within Fourteen (14) days apprehend and investigate the perpetrators of this act; and the Benue State Attorney General to prosecute the offender(s); and resolved to; “Mandate its Committees on Police Affairs; and National Security and Intelligence to summon the Inspector General of Police (IGP) on 1st February, 2018 and report to the Senate on 6th February, 2018.
The 23 member committee was chaired by Chairman, Senate Committee on Police Affairs, Senator Abu Ibrahim.
Senator Ibrahim noted in his report that the Inspector General of Police appeared before the committee on Friday, 2nd February, 2018 and in his written presentation, IGP briefed the committee.
In its observation and findings the committee said: That there is a wide gap and serious defect in the intelligence gathering mechanism of the Nigeria Police and its subsequent counter operations due to inadequate funding.
“That Local Government councils have been rendered ineffective thereby unable to deal with security issues before they snowball to crisis.
“That inflammatory statements, utterances and actions of some politicians and opinion molders have been found to be promoting hatred and inciting violence.
“That there is massive proliferation of arms and ammunition in Benue State and across the country in general.”
It recommended that 1) The Nigeria Police Force should strengthen and fully utilize its intelligence gathering capabilities
2) The Police is grossly underfunded, therefore it is recommended that a percentage of excess crude oil fund of about 2 dollars should be made available through appropriation to the Police in order to beef up its operations.
3) Politicians and opinion leaders should desist from statements capable of inciting violence.
4) Deliberate steps should be taken to disarm all armed militia groups in Benue State and in the country in general.
5) The Inspector-General of Police should speedily prosecute those arrested and intensify efforts to arrest those still at large.
Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu was the first to fault the report when he said that the committee should have invited the state governor who was mentioned severally by the Inspector General of Police for his comment.

Author: News Editor

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