The duo of Rep. Barr. I. D. Gyang member Representing Barkin Ladi/Riyom Federal Constituency who doubles as the PDP Senate Candidate for Plateau North and Rep. Barr. Edward Pwajok, SAN have call on the need for Professional investigation of the crises in the Northern parts of Plateau State and call for an end to the the indiscriminate arrests of civilians by the Army.
The house notes,
The reports of the escalation of the crises in the northern zone of Plateau state in recent weeks particularly in Bassa ,jos north, jos south,Barkin ladi,Riyom and jos east local government areas,
Notes that the above local government areas make up the northern zone of Plateau state,
Disturbed that the crises has assumed the dimension of violent attacks ,some of them serially on the same communities leading to the loss of lives,properties,forceful occupation of ancestral lands and displacement of thousands of citizens many of who are still housed in IDP camps in the state,
Worried that even security personnel including those from the police and army are also casualties of these attacks,
Disturbed that groups of citizens in some cases numbering 19’13 etc have been killed gruesomely for no apparent reason than terrorism,
Disturbed that the immediate past chief of Administration of the Nigerian army,retired major general Idris Alkali has not been traced since 3 rd September ,2018 on his to bauchi from abuja thus necessitating a rigorous unprecedented search by the army,
Notes that the army acting on intelligence, narrowed the search to a pond in Dura-Du ,in jos south where on the 29 th September ,2018,the army reportedly found his black Toyota Corolla car among other properties of the General,
Worried about the reports of the mass arrests of residents of Du area extending to Rayfield ,the breaking into houses of citizens without search warrant ,stoppage and mishandling of motorists on the road by the army,
Further worried by reports that many of the people including pregnant women and the aged were and are being arrested and taken to the Rukuba barracks of the 3rd armored Division of the Nigerian Army for interrogation with some of them spending many days there,including a journalist Mr Friday Olokor ,a correspondent of punch newspapers in Jos who was arrested along with others in a restaurant in Rayfield which led the Nigeria Union of Journalists on 8/10/ 2018 to issue a statement condemning the indiscriminate arrest by the army,
Disturbed that two years ago the Red Cross reported that over 17,000 Nigerians were missing with over 7000 of them being Children,
Aware that the National Human Rights Commission has established a data base for missing persons in Nigeria to enable the Federal Government trace the whereabouts of missing persons,
Concerned that even the military has cases of missing persons including Captain Davou Mwankon Gyang who last served in Lagos but which the military has not responded to inquiries by the family and his community about his whereabouts,
Further concerned by the fear and tension pervading some communities in Jos South Local Government Area leading to citizens including community leaders fleeing from their houses because of the reported threats and brutalization by the army,
Notes the need for cooperation by citizens in order to generate credible intelligence to trace all the missing persons including but not limited to the retired General,
Further notes the need for the cooperation of citizens to expose criminals irrespective of religious or ethnic identity,
Worried that the ethnic profiling ,criminalization and labeling of some ethnic groups as terrorists defeats the intent and purpose of crime fighting.
Notes the need for security forces and the Government to always act within the law and to respect the constitutionally guaranteed fundamental human rights of citizens more so that there is no state of emergency in the state.
Aware that by the provisions of relevant laws particularly sections 214 and 217 of the constitution ,section1 of the Armed Forces Act,CAP 20 LFN ,2004 and section 4 of the police Act among others ,the army has no power to investigate alleged crimes committed by civilians as that is reserved for the police and other civil authorities.
1. Condemn in the strongest terms the attacks by criminals in Plateau State ,particularly in the Northern zone which has led to the killing and disappearance of many citizens,
2. Sympathize and condoles with the families of all those who died in the crisis and pray for the speedy recovery of all those who are injured,
3. Urges the Federal Government and the relevant security agencies to do everything within the law to trace the whereabouts of all missing persons in Nigeria including but not limited to Rtd Major General Idris Alkali and Captain Mwankon Gyang,
4 urges the Federal Government to use the security forces saddled by the constitution with the powers of investigation of missing persons in communities ,specifically the police and the DSS to investigate professionally and respect the rule of law and human rights of citizens,
5. Urges for the release of all those who are under detention particularly civilians detained in military barracks and they should be handed over to the police,
6. Urges the Federal Government to put a stop to the killings ,attacks and kidnapping in Plateau State,
7. Urges the Federal Government and the security forces to professionally investigate all crimes and in doing so respect the fundamental Rights of citizens and act within the law and comply with due process,
8. Urges the Army to desist immediately from entering into houses without search warrants or the indiscriminate arrest of law abiding citizens whose offense is merely residing in certain areas
9. Urges the Federal Government to use civil authorities like the Police which is the institution legally vested with the power to investigate and prosecute crimes by citizens,
10. Urges Government, Community/Religious leaders and citizens to be genuinely committed to the reconciliation and peace process,
11 Mandate the House Committees on Army ,Defence ,Police and Human Rights to ensure compliance and report back within two weeks.
Hon Edward Gyang Pwajok (SAN)
Hon Istifanus Dung Gyang
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