House of Reps probe service chiefs’ spending of $1 billion arms procurement

House of Reps probe service chiefs' spending of $1 billion arms procurement
House of Reps probe service chiefs' spending of  billion arms procurement

The House of Representatives yesterday resolved to investigate the utilisation of $1 billion approved for the Federal Government to fight insurgency in the North-East region of the country by service chiefs.

The resolution was taken following the adoption of a motion on the killing of 118 soldiers by Boko Haram insurgents in Metele, Borno State, sponsored by Hon. Chukwuka Onyema (PDP, Anambra).

In adopting the motion, the House presided over by Speaker Yakubu Dogara, insisted that someone must be held accountable for the killing of the 118 soldiers.

The House further said that the Army authorities must, after due consultations, immediately release the names of the fallen soldiers who were attacked and killed in the onslaught by Boko Haram insurgents.

In his lead debate, Onyema noted that there was a recent attack on Army base in Borno State leading to the killing of 118 soldiers and a commanding officer by some Boko Haram insurgents.

Onyema further informed that no less than 600 soldiers had lost their lives in various insurgency attacks on military bases and formations in the North-East part of the country

The lawmaker noted that there were countless number of attacks on military officers and men by insurgents, which, in some cases, had resulted in fatalities.

He condemned the “studied” silence of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Army authorities over the wanton assault on the soldiers, saying that they were not pardonable.

The deputy minority leader therefore called for investigation into the matter, especially utilization of funds on personnel emoluments and procurement of equipment by the service chiefs.

While supporting the motion, Hon. Aminu Shehu Shagari (PDP, Sokoto), said the primary responsibility of any government is security of lives of its citizens.

Shagari decried the security situation in most northern states and submitted that the Federal Government under President Buhari had failed to secure the citizens, adding that he expected nothing less than total decimation of the insurgents.

In his contribution, Hon. Gabriel Onyewife (APGA, Anambra) observed that there would be no free and fair election in Nigeria in next year’s general elections if the insurgents are still controlling some parts of the country and are hacking down soldiers and civil populace in such huge numbers.

Other lawmakers that spoke in favour of the motion include: Hon. Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje (PDP, Abia), Hon. Mohammed Sani Abdu (APC, Bauchi), Hon. E.J. Agbonayinma (APC, Edo), Hon. Beni Lar (PDP, Plateau) and Hon. Sani Jaji (APC, Zamfara).

The lawmakers opined that the utilization of appropriated funds by the security agencies should be questioned. When Speaker Dogara put the motion to a voice vote, it was overwhelmingly adopted.

Commenting on the issue, Dogara said that it is disheartening that the insurgency had persisted, adding that it is more worrisome because he comes from North-East. He added that that the House Ad-hoc Committee asked to probe the matter should raise some fundamental questions with a view to finding solution to the challenge.

He said that Nigeria that is endowed with vast resources ought to have defeated insurgency long ago like other African countries such as Chad, Niger and Cameroon.

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