Tambuwal Says I Am Not Above The Law But…, NSA Tenders Apology Over Conduct Of Soldiers
BEVERLY HILLS, CA, June 25, (THEWILL) - The Speaker of the House of Representatives Wednesday held a closed-door session with members of the House of Representatives where he explained his embarrassing ordeal in the hands of soldiers providing security at a security summit in Kaduna where he was invited as one of the speakers.
As previously reported in THEWILL, soldiers insisted on conducting a physical search on the Speaker's staff vehicle at the gate before allowing it into the hotel venue of the conference organized by the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA). An embarrassed Tambuwal stormed out of the vehicle in protest and strolled into the venue.
Following a motion by Hon. Ozormgbachi (PDP Enugu) and seconded by Hon. Uche Ekwenife (APGA Anambra), who both decried the shoddy treatment extended to the speaker and the assault on the legislature, the House went into a closed door session to deliberate further on the matter.
The Speaker told journalists after the session that though he is not above the law, he expected some courtesy as the head of congress and Nigeria's no 4 citizen in terms of hierarchy and protocol.
'I want to state that I am not above the law. As recently as last week Wednesday when I was travelling to Paris, I subjected myself to screening by staff of the Air France here at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.
'My luggage was requested to be searched, and I obliged them; I gave them my luggage. My physical person was frisked, and I allowed that happen without any resistance. That is to show everyone that I am not averse to being subjected to scrutiny or screening by constituted authorities.
'The difference between that and what happened in Kaduna is the fact that I was expected to enjoy some protocol and privilege as the speaker of the House of Representatives of Nigeria. More so, from the authorities established by law.
'Several times that I go out of this country, I have been extended courtesies and privileges whereby even my own luggages were not subjected to that because I am the speaker of the House.
'No one out there should have any impression that any of us here in the House of Representatives or in the National Assembly is above the law; that is not the message we are sending. What we are talking about is the institution of the legislature and not the individuals that are constituted in the Nigerian legislature,' the Speaker said.
THEWILL gathered that House has mandated its joint committees on Defence, Army, Police, Interior, Public Safety and National Security to investigate the matter further.
Meanwhile, THEWILL understands that the National Security Adviser (NSA), retired Colonel Sambo Dasuki has sent a letter to the Speaker apologizing over the incident. A source familiar with the development said the NSA expressed regrets and assured the Speaker of his respect for his office and the legislature.