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Senate asks police to stop jungle justice

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Members of the Nigerian senate at a plenary

Members of the Nigerian senate at a plenary

• Condemns killing of Lagos boy by mob
• Wants presidential inauguration at N’Assembly
• Okays seven bills passed by Reps

The Senate yesterday condemned the rising cases of jungle justice in the country, saying acts of barbarism must stop.Adopting a motion sponsored by Gbenga Ashafa (APC, Lagos East) and supported by Ali Ndume (APC, Borno South), the Senate asked the police to immediately confirm or deny recent occurrence of mob actions in Lagos and other states.

The lawmakers urged the police to fish out perpetrators of the barbarism and ensure they were brought to book. The upper legislative chamber also urged the Senate Committee on Judiciary to urgently accelerate the passage of the anti-jungle justice bill before it.

The attorney-general of the federation, state attorneys-general and the police were urged to show greater sense of duty in apprehension and prosecution of offenders. They were admonished to protect younger persons.

Speaking on the motion titled “Condemning the rising cases of jungle justice in the country,” Ashafa said the lack of move against nasty behaviour had led to Nigeria being tagged as one of the countries with the worse cases of jungle justice in the world, despite being a religious country.

The lawmaker, who described the growing culture of some citizens taking the law into their own hands and meting out justice as they deem fit as most reprehensible, noted that section 33 of the Nigerian Constitution guarantees the right to life and that no Nigerianís life should be taken except in accordance with the rule of law.

In his contribution, Shehu Sani (APC, Kaduna Central) said it was quite unfortunate that mob justice was becoming a way of life in communities, towns and villages. He attributed the situation to the loss of confidence among the people, the government and the law enforcement agencies.

Mao Ohuabunwa (PDP, Abia North) blamed the situation on the level of hunger in the country and the loss of confidence in the security agencies to defend them. He said it was a bad omen for the current administration and the country.Senate President Bukola Saraki said:
“I think I will say a nation where people begin to take laws into their own hands has a very dangerous situation and we must work to ensure that the rule of law is always strictly adhered to.

Saraki urged the Senate Committee on Police to liaise with the policemen and other security agents, adding that ìwe must reassure our people that we have laws and we have agencies to protect them.î

Also yesterday, the first reading of the bill for an act to provide for the inauguration of the president and vice president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, known as ìPresidential Inauguration Bill, 2016î was taken by the Senate in plenary.

The bill, sponsored by the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, seeks to move the inauguration from the Eagles Square to within the precincts of the National Assembly, in line with international best practices.

However, the 11-Section bill does not seek to preclude the Chief Justice of Nigeria from administering the Oath of Office on the two foremost political leaders. It provides for the inauguration ceremony to take place at the Arcade of the National Assembly, where the people are represented.

No date has been fixed for debate on the general principles of the bill and a possible second reading.The Senate concurred on seven bills already passed by the House of Representatives.Responding to the position of the Senate, the spokesman of the police, DCP Don Awunah , said they would always prevent any act of self-help.

“Where such an act is committed we would always prevent it, though some of the acts are perpetrated in our absence. Where a policeman is not on ground it would be difficult to prevent it especially if it is a mob action. But the assurance is that we are committed to preventing any form of lawlessness. Everything has be done within the ambit of the law”, he said.


In this article:
Ali NdumeGbenga Ashafa
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