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DELTA KILLINGS: Reps embark on another jamboree probe, duplicating military board of inquiry



In what appears as a duplication of efforts and another jamboree, the House of Representatives Committee on Defence has slated Thursday, the 25th of April to conduct an investigative hearing into the killing of 17 military personnel in the Okuama community of Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State.

It will be recalled that the military men of the 181 Amphibious Battalion, including a Lieutenant Colonel, two Majors and a Captain, on a peacekeeping mission to Okuama community were ambushed and killed by hoodlums on March 14.

The Reps investigative hearing will be held at the Government House Annex, Edjeba in Warri South Local Government Area, “in line with the resolution of the House during its sitting of March 19, 2024, to investigate the remote causes of the incident”.

The Committee, in a statement jointly signed by its Chairman, Babajimi Benson, and the Clerk, Musa Aliyu, “called on members of the public and interested parties to provide the House committee with useful information on the incident during the hearing.”

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The statement partly reads: “The House of Representatives invites the general public, stakeholders and all interested parties to an investigative hearing on the carnage that occurred in Okuama community, Delta State, resulting in the death of military officers et al.

“This investigative hearing in line with the 10th Assembly House of Representatives’ Resolution of 19th March 2024, presents an opportunity for stakeholders to provide valuable information and recommendations that will help unveil causes and effects as well as the perpetrators of the dastardly act and events that followed, with a view to bringing perpetrators to justice, prevent such occurrence in the future and bring succour to the innocent members of the public who were affected thereafter.

“Members of the public, who are willing to submit a memorandum should do so in 10 copies and submit same to the committee within one week of this publication to the Clerk of the Committee, Musa Aliyu, Room 315 White House, House of Representatives, National Assembly, Three Arms Zone, Abuja; Or at the Public Investigative Hearing scheduled as follows: Date: Thursday 25th April, 2024. Time: 10 am. Venue: Conference Hall, Government House Annex, Edjeba Warri Delta State.

“The House of Representatives Committee on Defence looks forward to a robust engagement and meaningful contributions from all stakeholders.”

The latest investigative hearing by the House Committee may just be another wild goose chase by the lawmakers as such efforts in the past have not produced any meaningful result. It is on record that both the House of Representatives and the Senate constantly embark on investigative hearings whose reports end up on dusty shelves without being acted upon and lacking the weight of law that could compel implementation.

The current scheduled hearing is even more questionable, as the defence headquarters has already set up a Military Board of Inquiry into the killing and the board is currently sitting in Warri, with a visit to the troubled Okuama community already carried out.

What goals the House Committee of Defence hopes to achieve, beyond being seen as busy, or wasting scarce resources, is yet to be seen.

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