• Probe alleged kidnap, death of 5 consultants handling $150m AfDB project in Ebonyi State
The House of Representatives, on Wednesday, urged the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, to deploy all necessary security strategies at his disposal to apprehend the armed robbers that perpetrated the robbery attacks and killings of innocent citizens in Yagba Federal Constituency of Kogi State.
The resolution was passed sequel to the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance, sponsored by Chairman, House Committee on Customs and Excise, Hon Leke Abejide.
The lawmakers also urged Federal Government to ensure the permanent presence of Nigeria security apparatus to deter future occurrences of bank robberies and criminal activities in the constituency.
In his lead debate, Hon Abejide who gave a vivid account of the bank robbery which took place on Tuesday, 14th December 2021 at about 3:30 pm, explained that the heavily armed robbers again attacked three commercial banks in Yagba West Local Government who carted away undisclosed amount of monies and in the process killed several innocent citizens while several others sustained various degrees of gunshot injuries.
According to him, the robbery which lasted for two hours witnessed the use of explosives and heavy gunshots within counter-response from security operatives.
He lamented the predictable pattern of bank robberies in the area, with gross failure of counter-response, as men of the underworld always enjoyed free reign at each instance of these attacks on banks.
“The House is alarmed by the gross failure and absence of viable intelligence and security cover in the community. Farmers are scared of going to farm for fear of being killed.
“This is coupled with the absence of banking activities as they will now travel hundreds of kilometres in order to access banking operations as commercial banks are forced to close down operations in the major towns of my constituency.”
Also at the plenary, the House directed Inspector General of Police, Usman Akali to thoroughly investigate the circumstance surrounding the abduction of five Engineers of NELAN Consultants in Ebonyi State.
The resolution was passed sequel to the adoption of a motion moved by Ifeanyi Momah (APGA-Anambra), who called for the House intervention.
According to Hon. Momah, the five engineers, namely: Nelson Onyemeh, Stanley Nwazulum, Ernest Edeani, Ikechukwu Ejiofor, and Samuel Aneke who worked as consultants for NELAN, an engineering firm, were abducted in Effium, Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, however, noted that Ebonyi State government ‘prematurely’ announced the death of the abducted persons without duly informing their families.
According to him, NELAN Consultants had petitioned the IGP that the five Engineers were last seen on the 3rd of November in Effium while on routine supervision of a road project in the area.
Hon. Momah who observed that the project being supervised by the engineers is a $150 million African Development Bank (AfDB) project, explained that: “Ebonyi State Government has been accused of being complicit in the disappearance of the engineers as the State Governor was alleged to have been hostile towards the consultants and tried severally to interfere in their operations.”
While condemning the announcement of the death of the five persons and the subsequent burial of the NELAN 5 to the general public during a security summit organised by the Christian Association of Nigeria, Abakiliki chapter without consulting with the families of the victims first.
The lawmaker said the investigation will help to ascertain their true status.
Following the debate, the House resolved that the Committee on Police Affairs should ensure that the police thoroughly investigate the case.