The House of Representatives may not consider the 2015 budget for the Nigeria Police Force unless the withdrawn police details of Speaker Aminu Tambuwal are restored.
But the police force was yet to restore the Speaker’s police security as at press time.
It was learnt that Tambuwal uses ad hoc security arrangement, including the sergeant-at-arms from the National Assembly and members of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
About N312.7billion was voted for formations and commands in the 2015 Appropriation Bill.
Investigation by our correspondent, however, revealed that most members of the House were annoyed that in spite of the new rapprochement between the Executive and the National Assembly on 2015 budget, the Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abba, has refused to recognize Tambuwal as Speaker.
It was gathered that before the House adjourned sitting on Wednesday, many members made representation to the House leadership not to consider police budget until the Speaker’s police aides are restored.
They said the IGP ought to have waited for the decision of the court on Tambuwal’s defection before taking such a stand.
They queried the rationale behind the withdrawal of the police aides since the All Progressives Congress (APC) now controls the majority in the House.
The members also detested a situation whereby the Speaker will be driving himself without any form of protection.
A principal officer of the House said: “We have told our leaders that we will adopt a tit-for-tat approach. As long as the police details of the Speaker are not restored, we will also not treat their budget.
“This is not the first time we are doing this. When we had a face-off with the former Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on accountability, we decided to withhold the commission’s budget
“We have bent backwards to mend fences with the Executive in the interest of the nation’s development, but the IGP is adamant on his non-recognition of the Speaker. Why will the President be doing one thing and his officers turning the other way?”
Another source said: “Section 80 of the 1999 Constitution gives us the power to appropriate, but in passing the 2015 Appropriation Act, we can put a clause to stop the police from accessing its funds.
“We will not tolerate impunity in whatever form because we are in a democratic era.”
A source in the Office of the Speaker said: “Well, it is true that the police aides, including escorts, have not returned back.
“The Speaker is still relying on ad hoc security arrangement from the sergeant-at-arms and NSCDC personnel. Now that he is on his campaign tour in Sokoto, he is protected by Governor Aliyu Wammakko’s security. You can see the risk he is being exposed to.”
When contacted, the Force Public Relations Officer, CP Emmanuel Ojukwu, said: “I will find out the status of the Speaker’s police aides from the DIG Operations, and I will get back to you.”
His response was unavailable as at the time of filing this report.
The IGP, through the Force spokesman, on October 30, 2014 said: “In view of the recent defection by the Rt. Honourable Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, from the PDP to the APC, and having regard to the clear provision of Section 68(1) (g) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, the Nigeria Police Force has redeployed its personnel attached to his office.”[The Nation]