Nigerian Senate

Senate on Thursday kicked off investigation into the murder of seven police officers by suspected criminals in Abuja last Monday, and that of Linda Igwetu, a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member, by a policeman on Wednesday.

Both tragic incidents took place at police checkpoints.

To this end, the upper chamber summoned Ibrahim Idris, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), to brief its committee on Police Affairs on the circumstances that led to the murder of the policemen in Galadimawa area of Abuja.

The police boss is also expected to explain to the lawmakers, how two police officers were killed in Abaji Area Council of Abuja during the week.

Meanwhile, the Senate has ordered the police and other security agencies to reduce or dismantle roadblocks mounted along major federal highways in the South East.

The directive followed a motion sponsored by Mao Ohuabunwa.

Bukola Saraki, president of the Senate, who gave the directive for the investigation during Thursday’s plenary, said the Senate needed to be properly briefed on what led to the murder of the seven policemen.

He further said the lawmakers should be seen to be protecting the lives of those who protect the people.

“We have not taken the issue of police officers that were killed in Abuja. As a National Assembly, we must be seen to be protecting people who are protecting our lives. I want your committee to find out what has happened to them.

“We need to know what happened. We need to find a way to reach out to their families and show them that we care. Does the committee chairman have anything to say regarding this development?” he said.

In his response, Senator Abu Ibrahim, chairman of the committee, said “we invited the IG to brief us in what happened in the killings and the protests in Maiduguri. He will brief us on Tuesday.

“Apart from the seven that were killed on Tuesday, two were killed in Abaji area of Abuja. That brings the figure to nine at this moment.”

Senator Philip Aduda representing the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), informed his colleagues that the murder of the other two policemen in Abaji be included in the investigation.

In the same vein, the Senate has ordered its joint committees on Health, Youth/Sports Development and Police Affairs, to investigate the alleged murder of Linda Igwetu, a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member.

The corps member, who was reportedly shot at a police checkpoint near Cedi Plaza by an officer identified as Benjamin Peters, was expected to have her passing out parade (POP) on June 5, having completed her compulsory one year service.

Igwetu, according to the Senate, was said to have gone out with her friends, as part of celebrations for the completion of her service year.

The joint committee is expected to report back within two weeks.

The upper legislative chamber pointed out that the proliferation of roadblocks were affecting the free flow of personel, goods and services in the South East geo-political zone.

Senator Victor Umeh decried the embarrassing development trailing the roadblocks.

The lawmaker said: “The issue of proliferation of roadblocks in the South East by security agencies is becoming a huge embarrassment. It is killing businesses in the region. Our people who are business-oriented can no longer ply their trade.

“In the South East, we are not in any imminent danger. I don’t see the need why we should have more road blocks in the area. Sometimes, you have roadblocks in a distance of about 300 metres.

“Security is important. But it should not be abused. Our people are complaining and we need to correct this. Our people now spend more time on the road because of these unnecessary roadblocks.”

The Red Chamber, however, mandated its committee on Police and Army to visit the affected areas and report back to the Senate for further legislative action.

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