The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Christopher Musa; Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-General Taoreed Lagbaja; Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar, and Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla and the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun have failed to honour the invitation to appear before the House of Representatives today.

They were invited to appear today as part of the Sectorial Debates introduced by the House Pursuant to Order 17, Rules 1(3) of the Standing Orders of the House.

The Service Chiefs were to meet the parliament on their constitutional responsibilities to ensure the security of lives and property as well as the territorial integrity of the nation.

However, the service chiefs as well the IGP sent in representatives who were sent back by the House on the ground the heads are to appear in person.

The representatives were introduced into the Chamber after a motion by the House Leader, Prof. Julius Ihonvbere (APC, Edo) which was seconded by Aliyu Sani Madaki (NNPP, Kano).

But after the self introduction by the representatives of the service chiefs and the IGP, the Deputy Speaker, Benjamin Kalu, objected, saying that although the representatives were competent in their capacities, they would be allowed to speak on behalf of their principals.

He said, “Mr Speaker, I want to move, that Chief Executives, be it private sector or public sector, they must come in person. I want to pray that we don’t break this sacred tradition of our House less we be taken for granted.


“I therefore move that this sectoral engagement be suspended until the leaders of the agencies that we invited who are our friends, who are working for Nigeria, people we are proud of, come. They should come to address us, take our questions and explain certain things to us.”

After the Deputy Speaker’s motion which was seconded by Nnolim Nnaji, the Speaker, Abbas Tajuddeen, put the motion to a voice vote and was adopted by the House.

He said, “Our dear brothers, you have heard from the House in an emphatic manner, that this House does not encourage, does not accept representation particularly at this high-level engagement.

“We thank you for coming. Please convey our message to your service chiefs, that we understand the tight schedules they have and we are willing to make an adjustment to reschedule this engagement to Tuesday next week for them to appear in persons.”

Recall that, in anticipation of the meeting with the service chiefs today, the Speaker had on Wednesday instructed that the Order Paper for today be made light to give more time for the interaction.

Spokesperson of the House, Akin Rotimi Jr, had in a statement earlier last week informed that the ‘Sectoral Debate’ Series were introduced by the House to provide political appointees and key government officials an opportunity to brief members of the House of Representatives about the policies and programmes of their respective MDAs.

The inaugural session was earlier scheduled to commence on Thursday, November 9, 2023 with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Dr. Olayemi Cardoso and his deputies but was postponed.



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