Reps pass bill to give women choice on state of origin

The House of Representatives has passed an amendment to the Federal Character Commission Establishment Act 2010 to give married women the option of claiming the state or local government of origin of their fathers or husbands.

The amendment was passed for third reading at the plenary on Tuesday following the unanimous adoption of the report by the committee of the whole.

According to the explanatory note on the bill, the amendment is to give married women the option of choosing either their fathers or husbands’ states.

The lawmakers particularly amended Section 2 of the FCC Act to read, “A married woman shall have the option to lay claim to her state or local government of origin for the purpose of implementation of the Federal Character formulae at the national level or state level as the case may be.”

Also on Tuesday, the House of Representatives asked the Nigerian Army to pay a female solider, Charity Eze, N2m as compensation for the inhuman treatment and sexual assault she suffered while being detained in a military cell.

It also asked the Army to pay Eze another N3.2m, the value of boots unlawfully collected from her.

The orders were issued at the plenary following the unanimous adoption of a report by the House Committee on Public Petitions.

Presenting the report, the committee’s Chairman, Mr Uzoma Nkem-Abonta, noted that the petition was about how the Army provided accommodation for female and male soldiers in the same apartment.

Nkem-Abonta said the petition also bothered on “sexual molestation, rape, unlawful arrest, detention without being fed for three days, handcuffing a female soldier while in detention for three days after dismissal from service, and seizure of property.”

In the report, the panel prayed the House to “urge the Nigerian Army to pay Eze Charity the value of boots unlawfully collected and the sum of N3.2m.”

It also asked the House to urge the Army to “pay Eze Charity the sum of N2m only for the unlawful arrest, sexual abuse, detention without being fed and handcuffing for several days while inside military cell.”

The Majority Leader, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, moved a motion for the adoption of the report and was seconded by the Deputy Leader, Idris Wase.

In his ruling, the Speaker, Mr Yakubu Dogara, declared that the House “adopted the recommendations therein.”


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