By Levinus Nwabughiogu
Speaker of the House of Representatives, 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.
The speaker’s directive came on the heels of a point of order raised at the plenary yesterday by the Minority Leader, 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 service chiefs and other security agencies and intensify efforts at finding the late journalist and report back within two weeks.
Note also 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 briefing 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 yesterday’s plenary, noted that the committees were yet to submit the report of their investigations to the House.
He said: “On November 9, we passed a resolution, rising from the missing Vanguard reporter that covers the 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 committees 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 failed to make submissions of their findings for the House to take a decision.
“Even in the course of findings, they may also proffer some solutions that can lead to advice given to members of the public in a manner 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, 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 we can know the next step to take,” Gbajabiamila said.