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Reps to quiz Service Chiefs over emergency rule extension in North-East states

By The Citizen

The House of Representatives on Wednesday summoned the service chiefs to brief the House today on the current security situation in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states before considering to approve or reject President Goodluck Jonathan's request to extend emergency rule by another six months in the North-East states.

The House Majority Leader, Mrs. Mulikat Akande-Adeola, who moved the motion, stated that the service chiefs would be 'led by the Chief of Defence Staff (Vice-Admiral Ola Ibrahim).'

Today's briefing will determine whether the House will approve the request or reject it.

The President had placed the states under emergency rule on May 21, following the escalation of terrorist attacks, which claimed many lives and property in the areas.

Akande-Adeola, who noted that Jonathan fulfilled constitutional requirements by asking for an extension, however, said that it required approval by a resolution of the National Assembly.

The motion read in part, 'The House notes that on Tuesday, May 21, 2013, the House considered and adopted the report on the State of Emergency (Certain States of the Federation) Proclamation, 2013, by majority votes of 253 members.

'Further notes that the Emergency Powers (General) Regulations, 2013 covered the North-Eastern states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.

'Aware that by virtue of the provisions of Section 305(6)(c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), the proclamation will elapse after a period of six months from the date of approval, except the period is extended by the National Assembly.

'Further aware that Mr. President, in a letter to the House on November 12, 2013, provided a detailed report by the Chief of Army Staff on the current security situation in the affected states.'

Akande-Adeola, in the motion, added, 'Provided that the National Assembly may, before the expiration of the period of six months aforesaid, extend the period of the proclamation of the State of Emergency to remain in force from time to time for further period of six months by resolution passed in like manner.

'Resolves to invite the service chiefs to brief the House on Thursday, November 14, 2013, on the current security situation in the affected states.'

It will be recalled that, Jonathan, in his letter to the House, observed that some 'challenges' in the affected states necessitated the extension of the emergency rule.