By Emman Ovuakporie
ABUJA—BARELY two weeks to the resumption of lawmakers from their annual recess, the National Assembly Management has barred the convoys of service chiefs, Ministers, Comptroller Generals of paramilitary outfits from its inner premises.
The restriction was influenced by an ugly incident involving a female lawmaker and officials of the Nigerian Prisons Service, which led to an assault on the lawmaker earlier in the year.
The new measures are sequel to an investigative hearing into an assault claim by Onyemaechi Mrakpor, (PDP, Delta) who alleged that one SIP Idaa Odeh of the Prisons Service physically assaulted her over the use of a right of way, while in the convoy of the Comptroller General of Prisons.
The House on April 26 adopted the recommendations of the ad-hoc committee which include the immediate dismissal of the culprit, SIP Idaa Odeh, from the service and his prosecution by relevant authorities.
The committee also recommended that Corporal Esther Hassan, ASP Sunday Akoh of the Nigeria Police Force and Abidoye I. of Department of State Security, DSS, be disciplined and redeployed.
In the report, it was also suggested that the Legislative Houses (Powers and Privileges) Act should be amended as a matter of urgency, to the effect that apart from presiding officers of the National Assembly, only the President, VP and CJN or a visiting President could come into NASS with moderate convoy and that penalties should be provided for offenders.
However, for refusing to show up at the public hearing held by the adhoc committee, the resolution also recommended that then, DCG Umar Shehu Kangiwa who’s now the overall boss at the Prisons Service be arrested and tried for violating Section 11 of Legislative Houses (Powers and Privileges) Act by the Attorney General of the Federation.
In implementing the resolutions adopted by the House in April, the Mohammed Sani Omolori-led Management of the National Assembly has released the new security measures which allows any extraneous vehicles accompanying any personality to the Assembly complex to stop at the third security gate, just before the arcade.
The security instruction written boldly on a new signpost at the entrance, which is the main entry point, read: “All convoys end here except that of NASS serving principal officers, by Mgt.”
It is situated on the left side of the gate, indicating that the legislative premise is now off-limit to all back-up vehicles accompanying VIPs to the National Assembly.
The convoys banned with the new measures, include governors, Service Chiefs, Inspector General of Police etc. Ministers as well as traditional rulers who may have any dealings at the National Assembly complex can’t go beyond that point. The signpost was mounted last Tuesday.