Abuja- The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Suleiman Abba, on Wednesday in Abuja said that security was strengthened around the National Assembly on Nov. 20 to prevent likely invasion of the premises by political thugs.
Suleiman said this when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Police Affairs.
The committee invited the IG to explain the barricade of National Assembly by the police which led to chaos as some lawmakers scaled the fence to gain entrance.
Abba said there was information made available to the Nigeria Police that the National Assembly was going to be penetrated.
He said there was information that there would be mayhem and disruption of the normal conduct of activities in the assembly.
“The police high command directed the Commissioner of Police, FCT, to strengthen the security arrangement in the assembly, the police headquarters and the INEC headquarters.
“In the process of safeguarding the security of the National Assembly on the 20th of November, we collaborated with the National Assembly Sergeant-at-Arm according to laid down procedures.
“Members were being asked to identify themselves before they could be allowed into the premises.
“The invasion of the National Assembly by large number of suspected thugs caused a reinforcement at the second gate.
“We saw how security at that gate was compromised and we are investigating the issue of teargas thrown at people,’’ Abba said.
However, argument as to whether Rep. Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto- APC) is still the Speaker of the House of Representatives or not stalled the public hearing.
The intrigue began when the police chief referred to the Speaker as “Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal”.
The members of the committee became furious and insisted that he must retract the statement and address the Office of the Speaker properly.
Abba replied that the matter was before the court, and as such he could not comment on it.
Reacting, Chairman of the committee, Rep. Usman Kumo (Gombe-PDP) insisted that the speaker and his office must be respected and addressed accordingly.
Similarly, Rep. Hakeem Muniru (APC- Lagos) demanded that the IG must retract his statement of calling the Speaker “Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal “ or “I take my leave as I would deem this seating as an illegal one’’.
“I can’t participate in a hearing where the office of the speaker, through whose authority we are having this meeting, is not even recognised by an appointee of the executive,” he added.
Rep. Victor Nwokolo (PDP- Delta) said: “I agree with the earlier speaker on the issues at stake which have to do with the IG retracting his disrespectful statement about the office of the speaker.
Kumo told his colleagues that he would report back to the House what transpired and therefore adjourned the hearing until further notice. (NAN)