By Moses Omorogieva
The Lagos State police command on Friday arrested 34 officials of the Peace Corp para-military outfit, an organization it has declared as illegal.
The spokesman of the command, Mr. Olarinde Famous-Cole, told journalists that those arrested would be arraigned before a mobile court on Saturday.
“The command has arrested 34 members of the Peace Corp.
“The organization is illegal, therefore the command would charge the suspects to a mobile court tomorrow,” he said.
The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Sen. Ita Enang, had earlier confirmed that Nigeria Peace Corps Bill is yet to be presented to the President for assent.
He was explaining the controversy surrounding the creation of the peace corps.
He said at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja that the bill was yet to complete its legislative process at the National Assembly.
Enang said that he was unaware of any bill that had been passed by the legislature that was pending before Buhari for his endorsement.
“I have heard some members of the public saying that the Petroleum Industry Bill has been passed and has not been assented to.
“Some said that the Peace Corp Bill has been passed and sent to the president and has not been signed or that it is already a law and people have started buying forms.
“Some said that they have started sewing uniform and that some states have started operations, as if Peace Corp, as if it were a law.
“I want to use this opportunity to say the Peace Corp legislative process has not yet been completed to the extent that it should be forwarded to the president
“It has not been forwarded to the president and so, it is not yet pending for assent,’’ he said.
Enang advised the public not to be worried about the bill, and warned that anybody acting on the bill, whose legislative processes were yet to be completed, was illegal.
“The Bill processes have not been completed and it has not been forwarded to the president for assented to become law, and therefore, anything anybody does, using the bill is at the person’s risk.
“As an agency that has not been established, it cannot start operation; it cannot engage people, it cannot generate revenue unless and until it is established by law. Therefore, I will urge Nigerians not to be worried.
“The last time before the bill went back to the legislature, the Federal Government, the police and other agencies did something to draw attention to the status of the Peace Corp but it does appear that it is going back to where it was.’’
It would be recalled that Bill establishing the Corps, which was sponsored by Sen. Bayero Nafada (APC-Gombe), was passed by the Senate in July, 2017.
The bill was passed in a unanimous voice vote after the Chairman, Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Sen. David Umaru, had presented report on issues surrounding adoption of the conference report on it. (NAN)