The National Assembly
The Punch reports that the Clerk to the Senate Committee on Special Duties, Kabir Umar, on Friday chased reporters out of the venue for the budget defence session.
Umar had invited the Senate Press Corps to brief them about the budget defence session with the North-East Development Commission and the National Commission For refugees, Migrants and IDPs.
He said the two events would hold at the Senate Committee Room 211 by 2pm and 4pm respectively.
Reporters from various media organisations got to the venue on schedule and started taking notes when Umar walked up to them and ordered them to leave in the full glare of the Chairman, Senator Yusuf Yusuf, and members of the panel.
Former Senate Leader, Ali Ndume; former governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima; former governor of Yobe State, Ibrahim Geidam; and the Senator representing Adamawa North, Elisha Abbo, are members of the committee.
Umar said he was on the committee chairman’s instructions to prevent reporters, except those from the NTA and the broadcasting unit of the National Assembly from covering the event.
The Clerk dared the reporters to write whatever they liked because he had the right to determine who should be allowed into the budget defence session or not.
He said, “I have already told your colleagues who had been here before you that you guys are not wanted here. I have the directive of the chairman to do what I’m doing. “
Asked if he was aware that his action could be reported, Umar said, “Go ahead, I don’t care what you write.”
The NEDC and the refugee commission were expected tell the public how they would tackle the humanitarian crisis and aggravated malnutrition in parts of the North-East where Boko Haram fighters have wreaked havoc.
The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, on Monday denied that senate committees were organising secret budget defence sessions with ministries and agencies of government.
Lawan was reacting to reports last week that the media were shut out of the coverage of the budget defence.