Reps urge Army to stop inflicting pains on FCT indigenes over land dispute


The House of Representatives has urged the Nigerian Army to stop inflicting pains on the indigenous people of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) over land disputes between them and the people.

The lawmakers also urged the Army to ensure total compliance with the rule of law and the constitution in resolving the land dispute between them and the Abuja inhabitants.

This was sequel to a unanimous adoption of a motion by Rep. Micah Yohanna Jiba (APC-FCT) at the plenary in Thursday.

Moving the motion earlier, Jiba said that the incessant harassment, brutality, intimidation and forceful acquisition of land belonging to the original Abuja inhabitants by the army were not acceptable.

According to him, it has led to the killing of one Hamza Usman with 27 other inhabitants sustaining various degrees of injury in the process.

Jiba said that section 217 of the 1999 Constitution as amended clearly states that the Armed Forces are empowered to defend Nigeria from external aggression and maintain territorial integrity.

He said that beside protecting the nation from external attack, the army might carry out other functions as they were be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly.

Jiba said that an ad hoc committee was set up by the Senate to conduct a hearing on the matter to ascertain the remote causes of the dispute between the FCT inhabitants and the Nigerian Army.

He said that all stakeholders, including the Minister of the FCT, the Nigerian Armed Forces, Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), Inspector General of Police (IGP), were at the hearing.

He explained that the Director-General of the State Security Service (SSS), Human Rights Commission and the native of FCT were also at the hearing.

The legislator said that at the public hearing, presentations were made by all stakeholders invited, and the FCT Minister through the Permanent Secretary reaffirmed that the said land was never allocated to the Nigerian Army.

Jiba said that the Permanent Secretary also affirmed that there was no document in the FCT or its archive bearing the name of the Army in relation to the said land.

He said that the resolutions reached by the senate ad hoc committee chaired by Sen. Abubakar Kyari, stated clearly that the Nigerian Army should keep off the land.

According to him, the committee also resolved that the FCT natives should put on hold their protests pending the outcome of the committee’s findings.

The lawmaker recalled that a presidential committee on the same matter was set up and headed by the Chief of Staff to the President, Mr Abba Kyari, that it issued the same resolution as that of the Senate Committee.

Jiba said that in spite of the outcome of the various meetings by the stakeholders, the army had continued to forcefully develop the disputed land and harassing the Abuja original inhabitants of the said land.

“On July 12, the Nigerian Army issued a quit notice to the FCT original inhabitants on the land to deliver up possession of the land on or before August.

“In any event of refusal to comply within the stated timeline, the Nigerian Army will do everything within its power take possession of the land,’’ he said.

Jiba said that there was need to address the security threat and the likely breakdown of law and order in the FCT as a result of the activities of the army.

The house then resolved to setup an ad hoc committee to urgently investigate the land dispute between the Abuja inhabitants and Nigerian Army.

The Speaker of the House, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila mandated the committee to report back within one week for further legislative action, NAN reports.


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