By Christiana Ekpa and Umar Muhammad Puma
The House of Representatives yesterday disclosed that, it will investigate the alleged importation of military equipment and uniforms by the Kogi state Governor Yahaya Bello.
The House equally summoned the Nigeria Customs Service to appear before it and explain why the Service did not arrest the importer who is not constitutionally empowered to procure arms into the country.
The resolutions emanated from a motion moved under matters of urgent public importance by Sunday Karimi (Kogi PDP) at Thursday plenary Leading the debate on the motion, Karimi expressed concern that recently the Kogi state Government imported 100 pieces of military camouflage, jungle boots, plastic knives and bullet proof vests among other equipment.
He noted with dismay that instead of the Nigeria Customs Service to promptly arrest the importer for importing military hardware, the service requested for an end user certificate.
“Worried that instead of the Nigeria Custom Service to promptly arrest the importer for his reasonable act of importing military hardware and items into the country, that only the military is constitutionally empowered to do, the Nigerian Customs Service has curiously requested the importer to provide End-User certificate from the National Security Advisee which can not under the law authorized any individual or state government to import such item.
He said if the trend is allowed to continue and politicians, state government and private citizens are allowed to import arms under the guise of equipment, the military, security and life of the innocent Nigerians will be jeopardized
The lawmaker noted that there have been reported cases of assassination and threat to the lives of politicians and public officials who have divergent political views from that of the state governor.
Contributing to the motion, Nnena Elendu-Ukeje (Abia PDP) expressed worry over the security challenges bedeviling the country due to the proliferation of small arms and light weapons by people with ulterior motives.
She stressed the need for stakeholders to check the importation of these small arms and light weapons to curb the spate of attacks and criminality in some parts of the country.