Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The House of Representatives yesterday mandated the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, to investigate the robbery attack on the First Bank branch at Isanlu, Yaba East Local Government Area of Kogi State, and ensure that the robbers are arrested and prosecuted.
The House, while urging the IGP to ensure that security is beefed up in Isanlu, also demanded the setting up of a joint security taskforce comprising the Army, Police, Air Force and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to be stationed at a the Isanlu-Esso along Egbe-Potigi road.
The lawmakers noted that the road usually served as escape route for criminals owing to the absence of security agents at the area. This followed the adoption of a motion by Leke Abejide on the recent robbery incident at the First Bank, Isanlu, at Tuesday’s plenary.
Abejide, in his motion, informed the House that recently a branch of First Bank and a police station at Isanlu, which serves as the headquarters of Yagba East council area was attacked, resulting in the death of many persons, including eight policemen.
According to the lawmaker, “the armed robbers managed to escape without being caught, further throwing the residents of lsanlu and its environs into a state of panic over the pervading insecurity and helplessness of the security apparatus to protect themselves or the citizens.”
Meanwhile, the House, yesterday, also resolved to probe the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) Pension Limited for allegedly failing to pay the pensions and gratuity of retired policemen.
Consequently, the Green chamber mandated its Committees on Police Affairs and Pension to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the inability of the NPF Pension Limited to meet its obligations to retired and retiring police officers, and report back to the House for further legislative actions. This was sequel to the adoption of a motion by Ali Taofeek, calling on the House to wade into the issue.
Taofeek, in motion, explained that the Nigeria Police Pension reforms which started with the incorporation and operation of the NPF Pension Limited in October 2013, was initiated to address the peculiar challenges of the police in respect to the Contributory Pension Scheme.
The motion read in part: “Aware that the peculiarities, which include reconciliation of personnel data crucial to obtaining pension contributions from the CBN and effectively managing critical welfare issues such as Group Life Assurance and Health Insurance Scheme, were highlighted to be of strategic security importance and should be managed by the NPF Pension Limited; “Informed that after incorporation of the NPF Pension Limited, PENCOM in April, 2014 directed existing Pension Fund Administrators to move N305 billion Police Pension Assets to the NPF Pension Limited; “Cognisant that employers pension contributions of N15.8 billion, N16.6 billion, N16.6 billion and N19.7 billion were paid by the Federal Government from 2015 to 2019 respectively to the NPF Pension Limited as government contributions;
“Concerned that despite the PENCOM regulatory supervision, there are various pending fraud cases instituted by EFCC against officials of NPF Pension Limited; “Worried that many police retirees have started protesting to the police hierarchy about the reduction of their entitlements while others have since joined the wagon of pensioners who don’t receive their monthly pensions and gratuities in full and as at when due; “Also worried that the retired officers who are being short-changed after their services to the nation may resort to taking advantage of the loopholes in the security architecture of the country, which they are aware of, to perpetrate mischief for pecuniary gains to feed their families.”