Reps invites Defence and Army Chiefs to explain attack on Lawmaker.
Reps invites Defence and Army Chiefs to explain attack on Lawmaker.

The House of Representatives has invited the Chiefs of Defence and Army Staff  to explain the circumstances behind the unprovoked attack on Hon. Kpam Sokpo,the 
the Lawmaker representing Buruku constituency in the 9th National Assembly.

The Chiefs are expected to provide explanation on  why the military officers did not carry proper identification or inform the civilians about their mission to Old Barn Hotel, Gboko, Benue state.

This resolution is sequel to a motion titled, “Need to Investigate the Assault on Residents of Gboko and Guests of Old Barn Hotel, Gboko by Men of the 401 Special Forces Brigade of the Nigerian Army,” brought by Hon. Mark Gbillah and adopted by the Green Chamber.

In moving the motion, the Lawmaker notes the primary duties of the Nigerian Army as enshrined in Section 217 subsection (2) (a)-(d) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) is to defend Nigeria from external aggression, maintain its territorial integrity, suppress insurrection and aid civil authorities to restore order subject to such conditions as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly.

Gbilah noted that the operational use of the Armed Forces in Nigeria is for the purpose of maintaining and securing public safety and public order in accordance with Section 8 (3) of the Armed Forces Act, Cap. A20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

He expressed concerned about the worsening spate of military and police brutality, extra-judicial killings by security operatives on civilians and unarmed Nigerians,noting the assault carried on the Lawmaker which took place on Saturday 18 March 2023 at Old Barn Hotel, Gboko in Benue State, where at about 2:30 am, men of the 4011 Division of the Nigerian Army viciously assaulted and brutalized several persons and guests.

The House also urged the Chiefs of Defense and Army Staff to commence a comprehensive investigation of the incident ,ensuring that evidence is obtained from civilian witnesses with the view to identifying the soldiers that were responsible for this mayhem.

The Military Chiefs will appear before the House   Committee to explain the Military’s rules of engagement during election monitoring and other engagements with the civilian population, especially considering the extrajudicial killing of two young men in Gboko by the same 401 Special Forces Brigade on 18th March 2023 for alleged ballot snatching as well as actions currently taken by military authorities to investigate the unprovoked assault on residents of Gboko, including Hon. Kpam Jimin Sokpo and the
shooting to death of two persons during the March 18, 2023 Governorship and State Assembly Elections.

The House  mandated the Committee on Army to ensure compliance and report to the House within two weeks.

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