By Gift Chapi Odekina
The House of Representatives on Thursday directed the Inspector General of police, Mohammad Adamu to investigate the recent killing of Ndubuisi Emenike, a politician shot dead in Imo State by an operative of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), at a political victory party.
The House which condemned in strong terms the extra judicial killings of innocent Nigerians by security operatives also resolved to surmmon the IGP and the Commandant of the NSCDC before it to explain the circumstances surrounding the recurrent deaths of innocent Nigerians through either deliberate or accidental discharge.
This followed the consideration and adoption of a motion under matters of urgent public importance brought to the floor by Rep. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, (APC, Abia) and two others.
The motion moved in collaboration with Reps: Miriam Onuoha (APC, Imo), and Ozurigbo Ugonna, noted with concerns that the purpose of security agencies in Nigeria is for the protection of lives, properties a d territorial integrity of Nigeria and Nigerians; and to this purpose the security agents are authorised to carry firearms.
“There have been several instances where the members if the security agencies had used their firearms for purposes other than the protection of lives and properties including but not limited to discharging/shooting at public events such as rallies, weddings, burials etc, often for amusement or wild celebration.
“On the 26th of January, 2020, one honourable Ndubuisi Emenike of Ehime Mbano, Imo State was killed by a personnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), in what was attributed to ‘Accidental Discharge’ during a political victory party.
” These kinds of occurrences, where people are killed by security operatives who shoot indiscriminately and needlessly are now becoming a regular headline in our country.
“If no action is taken to address and regulate security agencies on the use of firearms, more lives will be wasted needlessly and Nigerians will lose faith in the ability of law enforcement agents to handle firearms”, the lawmakers said in their presentation.
They stressed further that the House of Representatives, and indeed the National Assembly can do a lot to safeguard and enforce the protection of the fundamental rights of innocent Nigerians from institutions of the State.
Lending his voice to the motion, the Majority Whip of the House, Rep. Muhammed Tahir Monguno (APC, Borno), recalled how the Boko Haram terrorism began in the North East, linking it to the unlawful killing of their late founder and leader, Mohammed Yusuf by the Nigerian police.
“That was how Boko Haram started in 2009 when their leader, Mohammed Yusuf was arrested by the army and handed over to the police, only for them to have him killed without charging him to court.
“It was that singular act that drove the country into the security situation we have been battling with for more than a decade now.
“Whatever anyone says, injustice arising from extra judicial killings by security personnel is the biggest factor responsible for insurgency and other violent crimes in our society today”, Monguno submitted.
The House therefore resolved “to mandate the Inspector General of police to investigate and bring to justice, the culprits in the killing of Hon. Ndubuisi Emenike, and indeed other killings attributed to wrongful use of fire arms by security operatives”.
It also directed the Nigeria police, the Nigeria Armed forces, and all other security agencies authorised to carry firearms “to desist/ or be prohibited from shooting/discharging firearms for amusement, celebration, jubilation or otherwise other than the purpose of protection of lives and properties”.
Consequently, the resolution mandated the House committees on Police Affairs and Interior to invite the Inspector General of police, as well as the Commandant General of the NSCDC and other stakeholders to brief the House on measures being taken to ensure that these kind of incidences are forestalled and culprits face the weight of the law.