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Hon. Edward Pwajok

Election: Reps moves to okay independent candidacy

  • …Probe Customs over alleged killing

By Bethel Tunde
As politicians are preparing for 2019 general elections, the House of Representatives have put modality in place to provide for independent candidacy.
A Bill to this effect has passed second reading on the floor of the House. The Bill, which was referred to the Special Ad-hoc Committee on Review of the 1999 Constitution, was sponsored by Hon. Edward Pwajok (PDP, Plateau) and it seeks to alter sections 221, 225,65 (B), 106(6),132 and 133 of the 1999 Constitution.
Leading debate on the Bill, Hon. Pwajok said independent candidacy will give Nigerians seeking for elective office an opportunity to decide whether they want to belong to a political party or not.
The lawmaker said: “The time to show that we are a matured democracy is now and that will be by giving Nigerians the choice to decide whether they want to be political party members or not.”
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives yesterday resolved to probe the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) over the alleged killing of four persons during a recent raid in Lagos.
The resolution followed a motion titled, “urgent need to investigate alleged killing of four unarmed Nigerians in Lagos by personnel of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS),” moved by Hon Olajide Olatubosun (APC, Oyo).
Leading debate on the motion, the lawmaker lamented the killing of the four persons during a recent raid by Customs officials in Lagos.
He said over the years, many Nigerians, who were going about their legitimate businesses, had either been killed or maimed by overzealous Customs personnel.
The legislator noted that unfortunately efforts by family members of the victims to hold the Service accountable for the actions of its officials have always been abortive.
Olatuboson contended that although the duties of the Customs should be restricted to the borders, seaports and airport, the Service had extended its operations beyond the areas of its core.
The House has also resolved to investigate other allegations levelled against the Service nationwide and also to set up an ad-hoc committee to carry out the investigation.
The committee is also expected to probe allegations of illegal raiding of markets, warehouses, diversion of impounded goods for personal use by Customs officials and any other alleged misdemeanour by men of the Customs Service nationwide. It has six weeks to report back to the House for further legislative action.

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