UPDATED: Reps in closed-door meeting with service chiefs

The leadership of the House of Representatives, on Monday, met with the heads of security agencies in the country behind closed doors over the recent nationwide protests against police brutality and human rights abuses, tagged #EndSARS.

The meeting, which began at about 2:15 pm, is presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Wase.

Journalists and others were sent out of the venue as the meeting was about to begin.

The Defence Headquarters, Nigerian Army, Nigeria Air Force, Nigerian Navy, Nigeria Police Force, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Nigerian Immigration Service, Nigerian Correctional Service, among others, were represented by top officers.

The House had on October 20, 2020, considered and adopted a motion on #EndSARS, calling on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to “issue an Executive Order to address some of the broader issues on police brutality.”

In the motion titled ‘Need to Address the Possible Breach of National Security under the Peaceful Protests Across the Country’, the House had also appealed to protesters to have faith in the National Assembly and the Executive, “in our collective efforts towards finding a lasting solution to the lingering issues of general police misconduct.”

The lawmakers had also resolved to set up an ad hoc committee to be chaired by the Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Wase, the membership of which should comprise the Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa; the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, and three members each from the Committees on Defence, Police Affairs, Army, Air Force, Navy, Interior, National Security and Intelligence, and Human Rights.

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The panel is to interface with security agencies, other relevant agencies and interest groups to “ensure a peaceful end to the protests.”

Wase, in his brief remark before the meeting began on Monday, said, “The essence of the committee is to address, towards a peace exit and ensuring that we have a harmonious nation. This is the essence of the committee. This is our first meeting and we are going to take input from the various services. This is a matter that concerns security and no nation discusses its security situation on camera. With this, I want to beg the press to kindly excuse us so that we can have a very robust discussion”

Heads of security agencies physically present at the meeting include the Comptroller-General of NCS, Ja’afaru Ahmed; Comptroller-General of NSCDC, Abdullahi Mohammed; Director-General, Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi; Comptroller General of NIS, Mohammed Babandede.

Those represented include the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin, who was represented by Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche; Chief of Defence Training and Operations, Maj.-Gen. C. Udeh; Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, who was represented by Acting Director of Operations, Nigerian Army, Brig.-Gen. B. R Sinjen; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, represented by Chief of Training and Operations, Naval Headquarters, Rear Admiral I. T. Olaiya; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, represented by Chief of Policy and Planning, NAF, Air Vice Marshal Mohammed Idris; and the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, represented by Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Logistics and Supply, Aminchi Baraya.

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