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Minister, NDA Commandant brief Reps on Nigeria/Russia military cooperation, academy attack

Bashir Magashi, Minister of Defence, on Tuesday, briefed members of the House of Representatives Committee on Defence on the recent agreement between the Nigerian Government and the Russian Federation on the fight against banditry, insurgency, kidnapping, amongst other security.

BusinessDay had reported that Nigeria signed a military-technical cooperation agreement with the Russian government which provides a legal framework for the supply and servicing of military equipment, training of personnel as well as technology transfer.

The treaty took place in August when the National Assembly was on annual recess, hence the Minister of Defence appeared before the House Committee upon resumption to brief lawmakers on the implications of the accord on Nigeria’s national security.

Also, Ibrahim Yusuf, commandant of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Kaduna, presented the report of the August 24 attack on the Academy by suspected bandits which led to the killing, injury, and abduction of some officers to the House Defence Committee.

Addressing journalists before the meeting went into closed doors, Yusuf said no stone was being left unturned in the efforts to rescue the abducted officer and ensure non-reoccurrence of such incident.

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He said: “I assumed command of the academy on the 9th of July this year and barely six weeks later this unfortunate incident occurred. I am delighted to be given this opportunity to be here to shed light on the occurrence and perhaps more importantly the ongoing efforts we are making to recover the abducted officers. And also measures the academy is currently emplacing to ensure that this does not ever occur again.

“At this point, I would also like to register my deep appreciation and inform the House as well that the day this incident occurred, the Chief of Defence Staff visited the academy the same day, the Chief of Army Army Staff (COAS) visited three days later, by the following week all the services chiefs and they were all in the academy just to commiserate with the academy community and also to get more information on what the academy is doing to ensure that this incident does not occur again”.

Earlier, Babajimi Benson, chairman of the Committee, said the report would give the lawmakers insight into the incident and measures being put in place to forestall future occurrences.

Meanwhile, the House adjourned its first plenary session on Tuesday, after about two months annual recess to mourn a deceased member, Adedayo Omolafe who died during the long vacation.

Omolafe was representing Akure South/Akure North Federal Constituency of Ondo in the House of Representatives until his demise.

The adjournment in his honour was sequel to a motion moved by Majority Leader of the House, Ado Doguwa, and seconded by the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu in line with the Nigerian parliamentary practice.

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