This was even as the National Commandant of the Corps, Amb (Dr.) Dickson Akoh, averred that, there was a grand conspiracy against the Nigerian youth by those who engineered the decision of President Muhammad Buhari to withhold assent from the Peace Corps Bill.
The House Committee on public petitions, had penultimate Tuesday, ordered that the office of Peace Corps be unsealed, in line with the two recent judgements delivered by Federal High Court in Abuja, to that effect.
At its sitting on Tuesday, the committee said Buhari’s rejection of the Bill is a different issue from the court order asking the police to leave the headquarters.
The police has cordoned the place off since 28th February, 2017, despite two court judgements and the committee’s directive, asking them to leave.
Hon. Nkem Uzoma-Abonta, Chairman of the committee, said, following the change of venue for the Tuesday meeting, the committee will give the police “a benefit of doubt” and adjourn till March, 6.
He said while the police should leave the organisation’s headquarters, the IGP and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, should appear before it “and tell us why the court orders should not be obeyed.”
He added that failure of the duo to appear before it will make the lawmakers explore other options available to them and ensure they appear as directed.
Meanwhile, the Peace Corps boss, Akoh, has expressed strong optimism that the last has not been heard about the Peace Corps Bill, which he said was purely for youth empowerment.
The Nigerian Peace Corps (Establishment) Bill was overwhelmingly passed at the National Assembly and transmitted to the Presidency for assent on Wednesday, 27th December, 2017.
President Buhari, however, on Tuesday, transmitted to the Speaker of the House of Representatives that he was withholding his assent on the Bill, citing paucity of funds and duplication of duties.
Addressing Journalists after a House of Representatives committee meeting on Tuesday, Akoh accused the nation’s security agencies of working against the Bill.
He said the same persons who “fought” the Peace Corps Bill prior to its passage also alegedly advised Buhari against assenting to the Bill.
Akoh said: “The same people that opposed the Bill with the same content during the National Assembly’s public hearing, allegedly took the matter before the President, telling him that instead of voting money for new establishment, they should use it to boost money for their own activities.
“They had said it is a duplication of their functions but we made an advertorial in some newspapers to show the differences in the functions.
“Whatever they have done has not brought the situation to an end. The National Assembly may still take it up.”
The Commandant further said the organisation is in the interest of the vast majority of the youth, adding that “from what I am seeing, there is a conspiracy against the youth.”
“Let them (the youth) be jobless and be committing crimes and let these people have more money and jail them. I think that is the conspiracy.
“We have bills that have suffered similar fate and resistance and was later passed. So we have hope that one day, proper attention will be given to the bill.”