Teddy Oscar, Abuja
A bill that aims to regulate the illegal use and sale of security uniforms on Wednesday scaled through second reading on the floor of the House of Representatives.
The bill is entitled: ‘a bill for an act to provide for the prohibition of illegal use and sale of uniforms of the armed forces, police, paramilitary and other related matters’.
In his lead debate, sponsor of the bill, Hon. Abiodun Faleke, expressed dissatisfaction that the security personnel had resorted to buying their uniforms in the open market, despite the budgetary allocations to that effect.
He argued that drastic measure must be taken to address the situation now that the country was facing some security challenges.
He said that the eventual passage of bill would help curb the menace of undue proliferation of illegal uniforms usually use by criminal minded people in the country.
Hon. Patrick Ikhariale queried what has been happening to the previous funds release for the purchase of these uniforms, and expressed worry that the different security uniforms being wore by security personnel on the road were really disturbing and appalling.
In her contribution, Hon. Nkiruka Onyejiocha noted that in some cases these policemen were being forced to buy their uniforms by themselves.
She called on her colleagues to support the bill to be a criminal offence for anyone, who sales such uniform.
Hon. Samson Osagie described the bill as a solution to the illegal and unauthorised use of military and police uniforms by dubious persons.
He was of the opinion that anybody caught with the uniform with no military training should be treated as a criminal.
Adams Jagaba and Hember Iorwase, who spoke against the bill, said the intent and purpose of the bill would not encourage development and free trade in the country.
After much debate on the bill, Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, speaker, referred it to a special ad-hoc committee that would be constituted on Thursday.