By Ikechukwu Okaforadi and Christiana Ekpa Abuja
The Senate yesterday rejected the report of the Senate Committee on Police Affairs led by Senator Abu Ibrahim, which investigated the alleged killing of 73 persons by herdsmen in Benue state, even as it accused the committee’s chairman of skewing the report towards the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, without any input from the Governor of the state.
To this end, the Senate President, who refused the senators to debate the report, said it is not yet complete, hence he referred the report back to the committee to go back and complete the investigation and report back to the Senate in one week time.
“Like the Deputy President of the Senate rightly observed, the report is not complete because the governor was not consulted by the committee. There is no need to debate now, let the committee go back to complete their work, the report is not compete. I allowed Gorge Akume to speak because he is the only closest person to the matter here.
“I have seen a lot of persons who want to speak on this matter, but I don’t think it is right to take debate on this now. Let the committee go back and complete their work,” he said.
However, presenting the report of the committee, Abu Ibrahim, had called for adequate funding of the police to enable the agency fight the insecurity across the country, adding that the police is inadequately funded to address the challenges.
Also, Ibrahim recommended that two percent of the crude oil be reserved for the equipment of the Nigerian police, as a measure to make the force responsive to the security challenges in the country.
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, observed that though the committee did a good job, the report failed to give opportunity to the Benue State Governor to tell his own side of the story.
Ekwerenmadu said that justice requires that to balance the story, the governor should have been called to tell his own experience by the committee which he said should have interviewed the governor, but that was not done.
Speaking also, Adamu Aliero, commended the committee for doing a good job, saying it was the first time the police is arresting some suspects, unlike before when such killings will take place without any arrested.
He said the recommendation by the Senate committee that the police should be funded adequately is apt; adding that the 2% of crude oil should be reserved for the equipment of the police will go a long way to address the issues of insecurity in the country.
In his remarks, the senator representing Benue Central, Gorge Akume, lamented that the governor who was accused massively by the IGP was not invited, saying they would have got more information.
He said that the investigation of the committee centered on the IGP, adding that the IG moved to Benue and stayed one day and went to Nasarawa and spent more days. He said he has, by his comments, shown his partiality.
He refuted the claims by the Senate committee that there is no amassment of militia groups in Tunga, and said they are there always, as the governor had confirmed, adding the video is always everywhere.
He said the IGP has not been fair to Benue, alleging that there are people moving about unchecked with AK47 with the intention to kill and that it is not about religion. He said the much stated and advertised arrest of five people is so insignificant to the number of people moving about and killing innocent persons.