Reps Want British Airways Investigated For Embarrassing Bankole
ABUJA, August 12, (THEWILL) - The House of Representatives today decried the embarrassment meted out to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Dimeji Bankole by the British Airways at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos saying it amounts to a national security risk.
It has also called on President Goodluck Jonathan to order relevant security agencies in the country to investigate the matter as it was a breach on the sovereignty of Nigeria since the Speaker is exempted from security search.
It will be recalled that last Friday night after all security checks on the Speaker Bankole’s aide that accompanied him, the BA’s local officials had demanded that the hand luggage of the Speaker must be searched against the rules of British Government and British Aviation Authority (BAA). As a result, Bankole disembarked from the flight and decided to cancel the trip.
Chairman of the House committee on media and public affairs, Hon. Eseme Eyiboh who made the position of the House on the matter yesterday decried the manner the Speaker who is number four in the nation’s political power perking order was humiliated by private security operatives of the British Airways.
"The security, demanded, sought and insisted on searching the Speaker against the privilege the Speaker and select list of Very Important Personalities (VIP’s) enjoyed whenever they are travelling to the United Kingdom," he said.
He said that Schedule 6 of the British Home Office which lists Persons Exempted from Search among Commonwealth Countries listed Speakers of member countries as number 10.
"The privileged and the security of the Speaker has been breached, undermined and injured, not as a person, but as the institution of the Nigerian House of Representatives.
We are calling on the President to investigate this incident, as a way of preserving our national sovereignty and security. A private security hired by a foreign Airways has not right and powers to subject the institution of the House of Representatives to such disrespect", he said.