The House of Representatives has mandated the Committee on Police Affairs to investigate reasons for the invasion of Dr Joi Nunieh’s residence by the Police Command in Rivers.
Nunieh is a former Acting Managing Director of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) testifying before the House of Representatives Committee on the NDDC Commission.
The decision followed a motion by the Majority Deputy Chief Whip, Rep. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha (APC-Abia) at plenary presided over by the Speaker, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila on Thursday in Abuja.
The motion was also co-sponsored by the Deputy Chief Whip, Rep. Toby Okechukwu (PDP-Enugu).
Moving the motion, Onyejeocha said that Nunieh was called as a witness to testify before the house committee on July 16.
Onyejeocha said the call was pursuant to Section 88 and 89 of the 1999 Constitution and Section 2 of Legislative House (Powers and Privileges) Act 2017.
She said that the sudden invasion of Nunieh’s residence by heavily armed men dressed in police uniform in the early hours of the morning of July 16 without prior invitation amounted to “excessive use of force in the circumstance”.
“Dr Joi Nunieh is a trained Lawyer with over 30 years of experience in active practice and she is the Managing Partner of Nunieh & Nunieh, a Law firm.
“She is co-partner with her father, the first Lawyer in Ogoni land, who by this status knows the implication of police invitation that was not served before invading her residence.
“The intention of the personnel of the Nigeria Police invading Dr Joi Nunieh’s residence needs to be investigated as they have failed to apply international best practices, as well the unprofessional act and the crude display of force,” she said.
The rep said that “the Police Act, 2018 part 5 Clause 33 Notification of cause of arrest and right of suspect to be informed of the cause or need for arrest through an invitation” was not adhered to.
According to her, it was alleged that the purported arrest was an attempt by Nigeria Police to sabotage the cause of investigation to prevent her from travelling from Port Harcourt to Abuja to testify before the House of Representatives Committee on the NDDC Commission.
The lawmaker stressed that matters before both houses of the National Assembly should allow legislative action to be completed without undue interference from other government agencies.
The deputy majority leader said the siege on Nunieh’s house amounted to an abuse of the legislative processes in the country.
The rep also said that there was an urgent need to ascertain why the invasion of Dr Nunieh’s residence.
She said there was need to reveal from whom and the instruction for the arrest came within the Police hierarchy.
In his ruling, Gbajabiamila mandated the committee to investigate the matter and report to the house for further legislative actions.