By Levinus Nwabughiogu
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila has directed committees on national security and intelligence, police and defence to submit their findings on the circumstances of the disappearance and death of Vanguard newspapers reporter, Tordue Salem.
Speaker’s directive came on the heels of a point of order, raised at the plenary on Wednesday, by the Minority Leader, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu (PDP, Delta).
It will be recalled that the House had on November 9, 2021 through a motion from Elumelu on the disappearance of Salem mandated its relevant committees to meet with the service chiefs and other security agencies and intensify efforts at finding the late journalist and report back within two weeks.
It will also be recalled that Salem who hitherto covered the activities of the House of Representatives went missing on October 13, 2021 at the close of work in Abuja.
He was however found dead by the police authorities on November 12, 2021 in Wuse General hospital, Abuja morgue.
The police at a press conference said Salem was killed by a hit-and-run commercial driver, Itoro Clement.
Relying under order 6 rule 2, order 8 rule 5 and order 20 rule 70 (2a) of the House, Elumelu at Wednesday plenary noted that the Committees were yet to submit the report of their investigations to the House.
He added that though Salem had been reported dead by the police, the Committees report was stil necessary to enable the House to take a decision as in line with the culture of the parliament on investigations.
He said, “On the 9th of November, we passed a resolution rising from the missing Vanguard reporter that covers House of Representatives. Of course you made some pronouncements. And we gave our committees two weeks to make their findings and report back to this House.
“Even though we heard, that eventually the young man was dead but by compliance, the committees have not even come in here to submit their report and even tell us what happened. What we are hearing is that the young man is going to be buried on the 11th of this month. And the committee that has been given the two weeks are yet to even submit their report, it doesn’t tell well on the committees that are given an assignment and they fail to make submissions of their findings for the House to take a decision.
“Even in the course for findings, they may also proffer some solutions that can lead to advise given to members of the public in a manner in which they can move whenever they are moving around within the cities or rural areas. It’s not just about whether we found him dead or not, but the findings are what led to it and what next to do, these are the things I’m worried about that our committees have failed to do.”
Responding to the prayers, the Speaker, Gbajabiamila directed the Committees to submit their report on Tuesday, December 7, 2021 for further legislative duties.
“Clerk, contact legislative compliance, we need the report submitted on the floor by Tuesday latest. Let us have the report of the three joint committees on their findings on what happened so that we can know the next step to take”, Gbajabiamila said.