Ghanaian authorities harassed me over Buhari’s statement on Kanu, Igboho’s sponsors -Lawmaker

MEMBER representing Ethiope East and Ethiope West constituency in the House of Representatives Ben Igbapka has accused Ghanaian authorities of breaching his fundamental human rights.

Igbaka, who made this known in a motion he raised on the floor of the Green Chamber on Tuesday, claimed that members of the National Assembly had been placed under surveillance following the statement made by President Muhammadu Buhari in his Independence Day address that one of the lawmakers was sponsoring secessionist agitations in Nigeria.

The lawmaker said a few days ago, he was in Ghana to attend a wedding ceremony, but to his surprise, he was detained for four hours based on the allegation made by the president.

He said he was informed by the Ghanaian authorities that they wanted to make sure that Nigerian lawmakers who had already been tagged as sponsors of terrorism did not come into the country to cause problems.

“They detained me for about four hours, that they are trying to confirm something. I stayed at the airport for four hours, missed the wedding I went for,” he said.

“At the end of the day, one of them walked up to me saying, ‘sorry sir, there’s an announcement in Nigeria that a member of parliament is sponsoring terrorism and we are put on red alert to ensure that no member of parliament comes here to hide or cause trouble.’ I had to come back home dejected.”

Igbapka noted that identifying and not naming the member of the National Assembly who was allegedly sponsoring secessionist groups in the country had made all the 469 lawmakers suspects.

He pointed out that he had been inundated with calls from all over the world, asking him who amongst the lawmakers was sponsoring terrorism.

Igbapka said going by the president’s allegation, all the lawmakers were prime suspects.

He, therefore, appealed to the leadership of the House to liaise with their counterparts in the Senate to have an audience with the president so that he could name the sponsors of terrorism amongst the lawmakers.

Igbapka reminded the House of its constitutional responsibilities of lawmaking as enshrined in Section 4 of the 1999 Constitution as amended. He also reminded the House of the principle of separation of powers, meaning no arm of government is  superior to the other.

The lawmaker said the president should commence the prosecution of the individual and if convicted, should be completely shamed, arguing that it was wrong to throw a blanket accusation on an arm of government.

In his ruling, the House Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila said Igbapka’s motion was noted, adding that the House would get back to him on that.

Buhari had, during his Independence Day’s speech,  said an ongoing investigation had revealed that a member of the National Assembly was sponsoring secessionist groups in the country.

“The recent arrests of Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Adeyemo, and the ongoing investigations being conducted have revealed certain high-profile financiers behind these individuals. We are vigorously pursuing these financiers including one identified as a serving member of the National Assembly,” he said.

You can reach out to me on Twitter via: vincent_ufuoma

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