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Published On: Wed, Jun 25th, 2014

I’m not above the law – says Tambuwal

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TambuwalBy Umar Muhammad Puma

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has said that neither him nor any member of the House of Representatives should have impression that he or she is above the law.

Reacting to the incident that occurred at the 17 Hotel, Kaduna, the venue of an international conference on security and development challenges of pastoralists in West and Central Africa, the Speaker said, “I want to tell you that I’m not above the law.

He narrated his experience in the hands of Air France security personnel at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, when traveling to France, saying “As recently as last week Wednesday, when I was travelling to Paris, I subjected myself to screening by staff of the Air France, here at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport. My luggage was requested to be searched and I obliged them; I gave them my luggage. My physical person was frisked and I allowed that to happen without any resistance.

“That is to show everyone that I am not averse to being subjected to scrutiny or screening by constituted authorities.

He stressed that the difference between that and what happened in Kaduna is the fact that he was expected to enjoy some protocol and privilege as the Speaker of the House of Representatives of Nigeria; more so, from the authorities established by law.

“Several times that I go out of this country, I have been extended courtesies and privileges whereby even my own luggage were not subjected to that because I am the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

He caution members against having impression that any one of them in the House of Representatives or in the National Assembly is above the law.

Tambuwal earlier in his welcome also berated the Nigerian Military over their involvement in the nation’s politics, citing the preference of military to clamp down on the media, ground aircraft and close airports, and forcibly restrict the freedoms of citizens as worrisome.

He reminded public office holders that employing security reasons and security reports as justification for each and every governance infraction is not an acceptable practice in a democracy.

Tambuwal, who noted that the challenge of terrorism is real in the nation, called for the establishment of a Counter Terrorism Special Forces Unit (CTSFU), as well as a National Counter Terrorism Centre for the Armed Forces in order to deal with Boko Haram insurgency.

He further called for mass recruitment of personnel, as well as the redeployment of existing officers and men to the CTSFU so as to be trained by the special community that is presently helping Nigeria against terror.


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