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Reps probe polls’ militarisation, order payment of ex-militants

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•Buratai, Adamu keep mum after meeting with Buhari
•Police get 44 suspected electoral offenders in Taraba
•Zamfara bandits more equipped than troops, says gov

The House of Representatives yesterday ordered the probe of the alleged atrocities committed by soldiers deployed for election duties.
Adopting a motion sponsored by Asadu Patrick at the plenary presided over by Speaker Yakubu Dogara, the lawmakers agreed that the mobilisation was done in disobedience to subsisting court orders and disregard of the approval of the National Assembly.

Patrick stated that the action contravened Section 217 (2) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).The chamber also directed the presidential amnesty committee to, without further delay, pay the ex-Niger Delta agitators their stipends and allowances for the 2017/2018 academic year.

Adopting a motion by Koiado Akinjo, the House mandated its committees on intergovernmental affairs and legislative compliance to monitor the situation and report back in four weeks for further legislative action.The APC Ondo legislator claimed that the non-payment had inflicted untold hardship on the affected persons, warning that the development portends a grave danger to the well-being of the oil-rich region.

Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, yesterday declined comments on the allegation of meddlesomeness by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) against the military in Rivers State. Rising from a closed-door security meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and security chiefs in Abuja, the COAS refused to remark instead he referred reporters to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, who also did not speak at length. He just said there would be no briefing officially.

Also, the agenda of the meeting which lasted over three hours was kept secret by the presidency. But it was believed that the recent killings in Kaduna State and the alleged military invasion of some collation centres as well as the security strategy for the weekend’s supplementary elections might have been discussed.

Besides, the Commandant of the 20 Battalion in Serti, Gashaka council area of Taraba, Lt.-Col. M. S Adamu, has handed over 44 persons alleged to have played active roles in the violence that erupted in Jalingo shortly after the declaration of the governorship results by INEC to the state Commissioner of Police, Alkasim Sanusi.

Briefing newsmen, the military chief said they were arrested with various weapons, adding that his men were unbiased during the multi-force operations in flashpoints across the capital.

Also yesterday, Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State declared that armed bandits carrying out attacks and other nefarious activities in the North East and West were more equipped than the military commands located in the regions.He said: “They are in control of the kind of weapons that the command In Zamfara State does not have. In one armoury alone, they have over 500 AK47 rifles, we saw them. Our people were even given an opportunity to take pictures.”

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