Reps suspend debate on involvement of military in elections

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The House of Representatives on Thursday suspended the debate on the deployment of military personnel for election purposes in the country.

The House had been considering the issue following a motion by its Minority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila (APC-Lagos).

In the motion, Gbajabiamila said it was unconstitutional for military personnel to be deployed for election duties in the country.
He also prayed the house to investigate the role of the military during the 2014 governorship elections in Ekiti.

He pointed out that the use of military personnel at election centres may intimidate the electorate.

According to him, the presence of military personnel in polling units and wards is capable of generating unwarranted apprehension that will scare away innocent citizens.

The lawmaker said that the action was capable of preventing voters from peacefully and wilfully exercising their franchise.

In his contribution, Rep. Sunday Karimi (Kogi-PDP) said that the matter which the motion sought to address could not be debated because it was in court.
“This matter is still a subject of litigation at the Supreme Court,” Karimi said.

All Progressive Congress (APC) had sought the nullification of Ekiti governorship election result for reasons, which included the involvement of the military in the elections.
Ruling on the issue, the Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, directed the Committees on Rules and Business, Judiciary and Justice, to advise him on the matter.

“In view of the sensitivity of the matter and the unfolding events in the country, please I want us to take this matter very seriously.
“I will therefore direct committees on Rules and Business, Judiciary and Justice to advice the speaker, and come back to the house on Tuesday,” Tambuwal said.

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