Iniobong Umoren’s Murder: Reps Ask IGP To Take Over Investigation, Prosecution Of Suspects

Members of the House of Representatives on Tuesday demanded that the Inspector General of Police, Alkali Baba, take over the murder case of Miss Iniobong Umoren who was killed in Akwa Ibom after she was lured with a fake job offer.

The House urged the IGP to ensure that justice is done by taking over the investigation and prosecution of the suspects.

The resolution of the House follows a matter of urgent public importance raised by Unyime Idem representing Ukanafun/Oruk Anam the federal constituency of Akwa Ibom State.

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They also mandated the IGP to ensure the protection of Umoren’s family members from harassment, intimidation and harm.

Idem told the House that the family members of the deceased have reportedly raised an alarm of receiving strange phone calls and threats of various degrees and have been asked to withdraw the case.

Adopting the motion, the House mandated the House Committee on Women Affairs and Social Development to follow up with the investigation and prosecution and ensure compliance.

 

 

Find below the note presented by Representative Unyime Idem to the House:

 

Matter Of Urgent Public Importance

A Call For Comprehensive Investigation, Prosecution And Punishment Of The Perpetrator(S) Of The Kidnapping, Sexual Assault, Physical Assault And Heinous Killing Of Miss Iniobong Ephraim Umoren And The Need To Protect Her Family Members

Rep. Unyime Idem

Ukanafun/Oruk Anam Federal Constituency

THE HOUSE:

AWARE that on April 30, 2021, the Anti-kidnapping Squad of the Akwa Ibom State Command of the Nigeria Police Force received a criminal report on the disappearance of Miss Iniubong Ephraim Umoren who left her house on a fateful day in search of employment.

NOTE that Miss Iniubong Umoren was a graduate of the University of Uyo in Akwa Ibom State who was without employment since her graduation from the University.

NOTE ALSO that available information has it that she received a phone call from the assailant who pretentiously called her and invited her to a false interview of an advertised job.

AWARE that the innocent Miss Iniubong Umoren was later found dead by the Officers of the Nigeria Police Force after an official report and with the help of a wide reportage of her disappearance and information of the false interview on social media platforms. Her body was further exhumed where it was buried in a shallow grave by her assailant.

COGNIZANT that It has been reported that the assailant upon his arrest by the police and subsequent voluntary confession boasted that he is well connected and will be released from the Police custody scot-free in a matter of days.

BOTHERED that the family members of the deceased have reportedly raised an alarm of receiving strange phone calls and threats of various degrees and have been asked to withdraw the case.

REGRETS that the Nigeria Police Force has been reporting a surging high record in rape and gender violation across the country. Unfortunately, a very scary number of cases have been reported daily with thousands unreported. These acts are a gross violation of human rights to dignity, life, and sexuality.

CONCERNED that the public outrage on account of rape and other violent crimes against women and the girl child should not go unpunished as a deterrent for the perpetrators and others nursing the thought to forestall future occurrence

 

RESOLVE TO:

  1. Condemn in strong terms, the act of sexual assault and gruesome murder of Miss Iniubong Ephraim Umoren as barbaric, inhuman, and despotic
  2. Mandate the Inspector General of Police to immediately commission and take over the investigation and prosecution of the perpetrators of the heinous crime.
  3. Mandate the Inspector General of Police to ensure the protection of her family members from harassment, intimidation, and harm.
  4. Mandate the House Committee on Women Affairs and Social Development to follow up with the investigation and prosecution; ensure compliance and report back to the House.
  5. Observe a minute silence in honour of the deceased and other victims of this nefarious act.

Bill To Increase Appeal Court Justices Passes Second Reading

File Photo of members of the House of Representatives attending plenary at the lower chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja on November 24, 2020.

 

 

A Bill to increase the number of Appeal Court Justices has passed the second reading at the House of Representatives.

The bill is to amend the Court of Appeal Act, Cap. C36, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.

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Hon Onofiok Luke sponsored the bill during plenary on Tuesday.

The bill seeks to provide the Appointment of a Minimum of Six Justices in every Judicial Division of the Court for speedy and efficient Justice Delivery.

The bill will also Improve Citizens’ Access to Justice.

 

Reps Approve FG’s $1.5bn, €995m External Borrowing Plan To Finance Priority Projects

File Photo of Members of the House of Representatives attend a plenary at the lower chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja 

 

The House of Representatives has approved the Federal Government’s External Borrowing Plan of 1.5 billion dollars and 995 Million Euros, to finance priority projects.

The lawmakers are asking that the terms and conditions of the loans from each lender as contained in a duly Executed Loan Agreements, should be forwarded to the National Assembly for proper documentation.

The House also approved a revenue target of l.678 trillion naira for the Nigeria Customs Service for the 2021 fiscal year.

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The figure is an increase from the initial 1.465 trillion naira proposed by the Nigeria Customs Service, which the House considered inadequate.

The lawmakers are asking the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN to as matter of urgency to procure four Scanners for the Nigeria Customs Service from the best scanners manufacturers either from Germany or America but not China-made scanners.

Insecurity: Reps To Audit Military Assets, Ask Buhari To Declare State Of Emergency

(FILE) Some members of the House of Representatives attend a plenary. Photo: Twitter- @HouseNGR

 

Members of the House of Representatives have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately declare a state of emergency on security.

Considering the present situation, they believe this will ensure the fast track of all measures towards restoring peace in the country.

The call formed part of the resolutions reached at the closed-door session to discuss pressing national issues, which lasted about four hours on Tuesday at the lower chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

Reading the other resolutions reached at the end of the meeting, the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, noted that the House Security Committees were mandated to immediately commence comprehensive audit of all military and paramilitary assets and arms and revert back within four weeks.

The lawmakers condemned the attacks on security personnel and formations and parts of the country and sympatised with their families, as well as the families and communities that have been victims of banditry, terrorism, and criminal acts

They reiterated their commitment to the security and corporate existence of Nigeria and vowed to accelerate engagements with stakeholders on a special security summit to be organised by the House.

The House also resolved to urgently invite the National Security Adviser, service chiefs, and heads of various paramilitary agencies, as well as the Managing Director of Nigerian COMSAT to brief the lawmakers on the security situation in the country.

As part of measures to curb the spate of violence, the judiciary was asked to accelerate the prosecution of those awaiting trial for banditry, terrorism, and other criminal activities.

Similarly, the lawmakers called for the provision of relief to all communities that have been adversely affected by recent attacks across the country.

They also asked the President to ensure financial autonomy to local government councils to guarantee their functionality to serve the local populace.

The lawmakers called on the Federal Government to ensure the protection of national Infrastructure assets, particularly the Shiroro and Kainji Dams in Niger State.

According to them, the number of personnel in the police and military falls far short of the required number to effectively secure the country and immediate recruitment it required.

Insecurity: Reps To Investigate Recurring Jailbreaks

Members of the House of Representatives attend a plenary at the lower chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja on November 24, 2020.

 

The House of Representatives is set to investigate the incessant jailbreaks in the country.

The House is worried that the jailbreaks will only continue to fuel the insecurity in the country.

Hon. Chudy Momah raised the motion on Thursday during plenary.

His statement follows the most recent attack on April 5, where gunmen attacked the Nigerian Correctional Services and the Police Headquarters in Imo State, freeing an unspecified number of prison inmates.

After which the hoodlums set the facilities ablaze.

READ ALSO: At Least One Dead As Gunmen Attack Imo Prison, Police Headquarters

During the attack, one person suspected to be a fleeing inmate was hit by a bullet while carrying his travel bag.

His lifeless body was visibly seen on the ground in front of the correctional centre.

The gunmen also razed the Imo State Police Command headquarters situated in Owerri and burnt almost all the vehicles parked at the command headquarters.

They were said to have operated from 1:00 am till 3:00 am during which they sang solidarity songs at the Government House Roundabout for about 30 minutes before attacking the facilities.

IPOB has been blamed for the recent attacks on prisons and police stations in the South-East but the group has denied these claims, noting they are agitators, not gunmen.

The former Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu revealed that the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB)/Eastern Security Network (ESN) was behind the attacks.

 

 

Reps Orders Probe Of High Acceptance Fees In Tertiary Institutions

Members of the House of Representatives attend a plenary at the lower chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja on November 24, 2020.

 

The House of Representatives has mandated its Committee on Tertiary Institution and Services to investigate the high acceptance fees charged by Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria.

This followed a motion raised by representative Julius Ihonvbere during plenary on Wednesday.

The House is worried that the arbitrary high acceptance fees charged by some public universities on new students across the country have become a matter of great concern to many families.

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The lawmakers are concerned that the dire consequences of exorbitant acceptance fees in Public Universities have led to many indigent students losing their admission as a result of their inability to afford the fees.

The committee is to report back within four weeks for further
legislative action.

Over the years parents and students have decried the high acceptance fees charged by Federal Government-funded universities across the country.

The move by the lawmakers will come as a respite to the students.

Reps Call For Review Of Presidential Order On Vehicle Importation Through Land Borders

 

A member of the House of Representatives Committee on Customs, Femi Adebanjo, is calling for a review of the presidential order, against the importation of vehicles through the land borders.

The lawmaker says this will increase revenue for Customs while alleging that vehicles are still being smuggled into the country.

He stated this during the budget defence session of the Nigeria Customs Service, before the House Committee on Customs and Excise.

The committee is placing emphasis on the need to increase the manpower of the Customs to effectively man the nation’s borders.

Customs CG, Hammed Ali

 

The Comptroller General of the Nigeria of the Service, Hameed Ali, is appealing for 135 scanners which will be deployed to the Customs for nations across the country.

He expresses worry that officers are constantly being attacked across the country.

The CG is further calling for the education of residents at the borders, who he says, are oblivious that smuggling is a crime.

Reps Raise Concerns Over N10,000 Visa Clearance Charge By NDLEA

Members of the House of Representatives attend a plenary at the lower chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja on November 24, 2020.

 

 

The Minority Caucus in the House of Representatives has raised concerns over reported non-refundable N10,000 special charges on Nigerians seeking Visa Clearance to certain countries, by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

In a statement by the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu (PDP Delta) on Thursday, said it is not against any genuine Visa Clearance measures, especially those placed to curb drug trafficking and other criminal tendencies, but is concerned about policies such as fees, that tend to place undue pressure on innocent citizens.

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The lawmakers in response to the apprehensions and anxieties raised by Nigerians, therefore urges the NDLEA to take steps that will lead to an immediate review of the non-refundable fee to an affordable amount, while putting the measure to adequately sensitize Nigerians on the issue.

This is especially as the contentious fee is reported to be at the behest of the “source countries” and not NDLEA and Nigeria.

The caucus urges Nigerians to remain calm and focused in the collective global fight against trafficking in illicit drugs and other drug-related criminality.

Reps To Reintroduce Equal Opportunity Bill, Pledges To Defend Women’s Rights

Some members of the House of Representatives during plenary on April 28, 2020. Photo: Twitter- @HouseNGR

 

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has said that Equal Opportunity Bill will be reintroduced in the House to ensure that the rights of women will be defended.

The Speaker stated that on the part of the 9th House, it had already made the protection of women and promoting gender-based issues, an important item on its Legislative Agenda.

He spoke at the National Assembly when he received a delegation from a development partner, OXFAM International, on a courtesy visit to his office in Abuja on Thursday.

Gbajabiamila assured the team that the House would do everything within its limits to protect and defend the rights of women, though he clarified that the ultimate goal would be to achieve gender equality by addressing the interests of both women and men.

A file photo of Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.
A file photo of Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.

 

“We can’t be left behind in the 21st Century where the world is a global place. We can’t be left behind as a country in terms of how women are protected”, Gbajabiamila stated.

However, in pursuing gender issues, the Speaker stressed that the Legislature, in collaboration with other stakeholders, must interrogate why attempts to promote matters affecting women often faced hiccups.

He noted that some of the factors could be “sentiments” and interests of various dimensions, which needed to be tackled so that gender-based issues could have a smooth sail in Parliament.

Speaking specifically on the Gender Equal Opportunity Bill, which had failed passage several times at the National Assembly, Gbajabiamila promised that the House would reintroduce it, while at the same time partnering with stakeholders to attend to the factors working against the bill.

The Speaker said, “That bill has been with the National Assembly for six to seven years, I guess. It failed a couple of times. When a bill fails like that, clearly there must be a reason. It is that reason that we need to interrogate. If you keep presenting a bill over and over again, thinking okay, we will wear these people down, the reasons why it failed to remain.

“What we need to do is to interrogate the issues, the sentiments. Why did the bill fail? When we find out, there are two ways to approach it: either you share education by sensitising/lobbying people who may be against the bill for that reason, or to recouch the bill and achieve the same result.”

Gbajabiamila added, “It is our desire in the House to push the bill through, but we need to work hard and find out why the bill has had challenges. It’s a good bill that we need to look at and push through.”

The Country Director of OXFAM in Nigeria, Mr. Constant Tchona, while speaking earlier, informed Gbajabiamila how since the 1960s, the organisation had been supporting the three tiers of government to become “more agile and responsive to issues of social protection, human rights, people-oriented policy making, and implementation.”

Tchona, who praised the Speaker for his gender and social development initiatives, seized the opportunity of the visit to canvass the passage of the Gender Equal Opportunity Bill by the Legislature.

He said this would “go a long way to redefine inclusive social and economic development in Nigeria.”

The organisation embraced most of the social development initiatives of the Speaker, offering to partner with the Speaker’s Office to execute and bring them to fruition.

Reps Accept Controversial Petition By Tiv Indigenes In Diaspora

(FILE) Members of the House of Representatives attend a plenary at the lower chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

 

A petition by a group of Tiv indigenes from Benue State in the diaspora which generated controversy last week has been accepted by the House of Representatives.

The lawmakers received the petition during Tuesday’s plenary at the lower chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

It was filed by a group – Mzough U Tiv Amerika (MUTA) on the insecurity in Benue, Nasarawa, and Taraba States.

A member of the House representing Gwer East/ Gwer West Constituency of Benue, Mark Gbillah, presented the petition at the plenary presided by the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila.

He explained that he was submitting the petition on behalf of the group because Tiv indigenes of the affected states had been sacked from their ancestral lands.

“Without misunderstanding, please go ahead and lay your petition and it will be given proper and due attention,” Gbajabiamila told the lawmaker before he presented the petition.

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Gbillah brought the petition back to the house about two weeks after the move was rejected by the Deputy Speaker of the House, Idris Wase.

Wase, who presided over the plenary held on March 11 in the absence of the speaker, had declared that Nigerians in the diaspora have no right to send petitions to the House on issues happening in Nigeria.

He has, however, denied his action despite compelling video evidence.

The recent attack on Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, at his farm also formed part of issues deliberated during Tuesday’s plenary.

Condemning the incident, the lawmakers described the attack on the governor as an indication of anarchy and full-scale lawlessness in the country.

They, however, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for promptly ordering an investigation into the incident and asked the security agencies to ensure that those involved were brought to justice, to serve as a deterrent to others.

Reps Condemn Attack On Ortom, Say Offenders Must Face Justice

 

Members of the House of Representatives have condemned the attack on Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom.

The lawmakers condemned the incident when the matter came up during plenary on Tuesday at the lower chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

They described the attack on the governor as an indication of anarchy and full-scale lawlessness in the country.

The lawmakers, however, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for promptly ordering an investigation into the incident.

They also called on the security agencies to ensure that those involved after the investigation were brought to justice, to serve as a deterrent to others.

The attack on Governor Ortom occurred on Saturday last week at Tyo Mu along the Makurdi-Gboko Road in Makurdi Local Government Area of the state.

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Recounting how it occurred, the governor had told reporters that gunmen numbering about 15 trailed him to the riverbank where he was on foot.

Governor Samuel Ortom addressed reporters on March 20, 2021 after surviving an attack by gunmen suspected to be herdsmen.
(FILE) Governor Samuel Ortom addresses reporters on March 20, 2021, after surviving an attack by gunmen.

 

The governor said his security details, who were just about six in number, swiftly responded to the attack and repelled the assailants after which they provided cover for him to return to safety.

A file photo of members of the House of Representatives during a plenary at the lower chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

 

Similarly, a petition by a group of Tiv indigenes from Benue State in the diaspora which generated controversy last week has been laid before the House.

The petition was presented by the lawmaker representing Gwer East/ Gwer West Constituency of Benue, Mark Gbillah, during the plenary presided by the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila.

It was filed by a group – Mzough U Tiv Amerika (MUTA) on the insecurity in Benue, Nasarawa, and Taraba States.

Gbillah informed his colleagues that he was submitting the petition on behalf of the group because Tiv indigenes of the affected states had been sacked from their ancestral lands.

At the plenary held on March 11, the lawmaker had attempted to present the petition, but it was rejected by the Deputy Speaker of the House, Idris Wase, who presided in the absence of the speaker.

Wase had declared that Nigerians in the diaspora have no right to send petitions to the House on issues happening in Nigeria.

He has since denied his action despite compelling video evidence.

House Of Reps Loses Member From Jigawa

A combination of file photos of lawmakers in the Green Chamber and late Yuguda.

 

A member of the House of Representatives from Jigawa State, Hassan Kila Yuguda, is dead.

Mr Auwal Sankara, who is the Senior Special Assistant to the Jigawa State Governor, confirmed this on Thursday on his official Facebook page.

He noted that Yuguda, who represented Gwaram Federal Constituency in the lower chamber of the National Assembly until his demise, died at the National Hospital in Abuja where he was receiving treatment.

Sankara said, “We regret to announce the death of Honourable Hassan Kila Yuguda, the member representing the Gwaram Federal Constituency of Jigawa State.”

“Honourable Hassan Kila Yuguda was born in 1951 and hails from Kila in the Gwaram Local Government Area of Jigawa State, Nigeria.

“Until his demise, he represents Gwaram Federal Constituency at the National Assembly,” he added.

A file photo of the Majority Leader of the House, Ado Doguwa.

 

Similarly, the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Ado Doguwa, confirmed the death of the lawmaker to Channels Television.

Although the cause of his death had yet to be ascertained, Doguwa disclosed that Yuguda was admitted to the hospital two weeks ago for severe malaria.

“It later degenerated to an acute shortage of oxygen in his (Yuguda) bloodstream. He tested negative to COVID-19 about three times and till he gave up this afternoon, he was confirmed not infected with COVID-19,” the House Leader told Channels Television in Abuja.

He added, “Myself (Doguwa) and the Speaker (Femi Gbajabiamila) are still at the National Hospital; we have secured the release of his remains and completed arrangements for an Air Force aircraft to convey his body for Islamic funeral.”

Yuguda was also the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Customs and Excise.