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Senate rejects challenge to troops deployment to Gambia

20 January 2017, 10:05

Abuja-  The Senate has rejected moves by some legislators to declare President Muhammadu Buhari’s deployment of troops to Gambia as an illegality.

Charles Akpan, Press and Public Relations Head of the Senate, confirmed the rejection after a busy day in the Upper House of the National Assembly on Thursday.

Some senators have been protesting Buhari’s deployment of the armed forces to The Gambia without seeking the National Assembly's approval.

According to the legislators, the act was a gross violation of section
5(4b) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended which authorizes, the President to seek the National Assembly's approval before he can deploy any troop outside of the country.

Buhari is the mediator in the crisis in The Gambia where Yahya Jammeh has stayed on as president despite a defeat in December by Adama Barrow.

It was announced on Wednesday the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) had deployed to Senegal as part of Nigerian contingent of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Military Intervention in Gambia (ECOMIG).

NAF tday moved a contingent of 200 men and air assets comprising fighter jets, transport aircraft, Light Utility Helicopter as well as Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance aircraft to Dakar from where it is expected to operate into Gambia.

“The deployment is also to forestall hostilities or breakdown of law and order that may result from the current political impasse in The Gambia,”
said Air Force Director of Public Relations and Information Group Captain Ayodele Famuyiwa.

Meanwhile, in Parliament earlier on Thursday confirmed Buhari forwarded a correspondence to the Senate concerning his intention to proceed on a vacation for 10 days with effect from next Monday.

The Senate also witnessed the defection of Senator Nelson Ekong, representing Akwa Ibom South from People’s Democratic Party to All Progressives Congress.

He claimed “unresolved internal crisis.”

- CAJ News

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